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Slartibartfast
2011-06-28, 01:33 AM
Some players just don't quite get the idea of roleplaying. Some of them play themselves, which isn't terrible, but others play inconsistent characters or sort of "blank" characters with no motivation, goals, or personality. I have recently encountered one such player, and I need to teach them how to roleplay. I've explained the general idea to them several times (as have the other players in my group) but it doesn't seem to get through to him.

How would you explain roleplaying to these people? More importantly, how would you teach these people who are having difficulty understanding HOW to roleplay, so that they can learn to roleplay themselves?

Starwulf
2011-06-28, 01:43 AM
Introduce them to these forums. No, seriously, I 125% mean that. Introduce them, to these forums. Before I was introduced to these forums, my idea of "Role-playing" was whenever I played a character in a game video-game, I would make sure I stuck to his stereo-type. Like, in Morrowind/Oblivion, if I Played a warrior, I would stay away from any magical spells/scrolls, no matter how useful they possibly could have been. I had a sword, a shield, Heavy armor, and I wailed on things. If I played a Mage type, I wore robes, carried a staff, and cast spells.(granted, when I was younger, I did play whatever version of D&D was around then, but that didn't particularly stick(16 1/2 years ago)). After I was introduced to these forums, that ALL changed. I discovered the complexity and fun of actually ROLEPLAYING my character. Creating a fun and exciting background, digging inside my characters mind, figuring out what made him tick, what his goals were, what kind of people he liked and disliked, what his personality was, all that wonderful stuff.

These forums are, as far as I'm concerned, the cure to people who like to play RPGs(video games or otherwise) but don't actually roleplay.

Shalist
2011-06-28, 01:44 AM
There's guides online, though start with the basics to help get them in their character's skin:

Writing a description (http://dsl-mud.wikispaces.com/Writing+a+Good+Description)

Writing a background (http://dsl-mud.wikispaces.com/Writing+a+Good+Background)

(the site has other stuff, and while it is geared towards a certain game, a lot of it can apply to D 'n D).

---

On a personal note, I have a hard time getting into characters due to never being able to play them...I've wasted so much time creating characters for games that never make it to (or past) the first session, or characters that get killed off very early, etc, that I'm a bit shy about 'committing' to one.

Also, I'm naturally a strong non-RPer on my best of days--it just doesn't seem relevant to what I want out of the game (solving puzzles, figuring out how stuff works, finding new ways to do things, etc). Something that would help a non-RPer like me would be consequences (good or bad) associated with IC activities--a sense that my ICness is actually having some sorta impact on the game world, vice just providing 'meaningless' flavor.

Garwain
2011-06-28, 02:02 AM
Not everyone can act. If acting doesn't come naturally, that's ok as well. I bet (s)he is more into minmaxing than roleplaying though .

Anyway, to blend in around the table as for these:
- choose 1 distinctive trait
- choose 1 catch phrase
- choose 1 to love and 1 to hate (thing or person)

And that covers basically what makes a character stand out and 'interactable'.

dsmiles
2011-06-28, 07:12 AM
The only people I've "taught" to roleplay are my kids. Hook 'em young, it makes all the difference. :smallwink:

Every other new player was easy. They just hung back, rolled the dice, and observed for the first session (sometimes two). After that, they jumped right into the acting bit.

Lyra Reynolds
2011-06-28, 07:39 AM
Something that would help a non-RPer like me would be consequences (good or bad) associated with IC activities--a sense that my ICness is actually having some sorta impact on the game world, vice just providing 'meaningless' flavor.

Definitely this. I get much more easily in character and am much more involved if there's some personal stake for my character. Doesn't have to be big, I don't need to be the Chosen One or whatever, but small things like an NPC that I like who's involved in the plan, or it's set in a town I once visited and I get to revisit old acquaintances, things like that.
With my campaign, I found that it also really gave the party a kick when NPCs they'd once helped came back and told them how their lives had improved due to the party's help. For DMs, it also gives handy plot ideas: let's go back to that village that was skeleton infested and let's see what's it's like three years later! :p

Elasair
2011-06-28, 08:37 AM
Develop your character as if you're making notes about someone you know. If you're able to get to the point where you think of the character as someone real, and not imaginary, then you've succeeded.

Important things to keep in mind;

You need flaws. These are was make the character interesting. I recently played an orc who's flaws were that he was too honorable. He wouldn't fight women (only subdual would he do), and he wouldn't fight or finish a helpless opponent. That clashed, and created roleplay experience, when the party wizard cast hold person and my orc wouldn't take advantage of that.

You need desires. These are what help drive you forward and give you motivation. My orc was adventuring with a group of sociopathic murderers just so he could make money to send his adopted elf daughter to medical school. Without the driving force, he'd just be along for the ride.

You need something unique to call your character your own, something that sets him/her apart. For my orc, it was as simple as a mohawk.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-28, 10:13 AM
Something that would help a non-RPer like me would be consequences (good or bad) associated with IC activities--a sense that my ICness is actually having some sorta impact on the game world, vice just providing 'meaningless' flavor.

You'd like me as a GM, then - Karma features heavily in all of my games and I'm merciless about lampshading how actions of PCs look to the NPCs. :smallbiggrin:

---

Generally, when I start teaching a roleplaying game, I go through a list of points in roughly this order:


You'll be acting people, like characters in a book or a film.
They live in a world of their own, which is quite alike this unless otherwise noted.
Within constraints of the rules, you're free to act your character however you like. However, each action has proper consequence; outside game rules, you can try to think what you would do in the same situation to see if action is reasonable.
When it's uncertain whether you'll get your way, random chance will decide.
The practice of the game goes: I tell you a situation, you act and react based on that, then I act and react based on you, and so on. Bit like telling ghost stories in turns.
When I speak, you listen, when you speak, I listen. If you have something to say, wait for your turn or raise your hand.


Some analysis of these points:

1: It's necessary to give a reference point of what to expect from the game just before them. If you're going to play fantasy, saying "like characters in Conan" or "characters in Lord of the Rings" is a good example. Trying to explain everything roleplays could be to new players will just get them confused.

2: Creation of reference points continues here. Referencing the real world is meant to hint the new players that they can use real-life logic and common sense to approximate actions and reactions. However, at the same time, stressing that it's their world helps to lay the groundwork for understanding the difference between them and their characters.

3: Getting new players to accept and understand that it's a game is vital in my opinion so they learn to accept and play by the rules. Not everything is possible in every game. This way, when they lose or don't get what they want, they'll hate the game, and not you. Explaining players they have freedom to choose and to do things is important for making them understand they can drive and affect the game as well; on the other hand, appealing to their personal experience and explaining freedom of choice doesn't mean freedom from consequence lays groundwork for immersion and getting into character.

4: This is continuation of the above part. It's also lays groundwork to the understanding that the GM is also bound by some rules; that the GM isn't wholly abritrary and can be challenged if he's not being fair.

5: Obviously, after the above explanation most people still have little idea how things actually work. So it's best to reduce it to the simplest possible guideline: I speak, you speak, rinse and repeat. Referencing other entertainment the players are familiar with is once again used to help.

6: Long story short, my new players tend to be brats. To keep the game from devolving into a shouting contest, I invoke the image of class room or other learning circumstances by the practices involved. This lays groundwork for common courtesy in the table. I figure it's useful for adults as well.

Beyond these, there's the general issue of making new players understand what the difference between GM and player is. This easy with kids - kids are familiar with all sorts of games where one player has a special role compared to others. With older players, you can always refer the banker in monopoly, or dealer in card games. Explaining this division is usually part of point three.

Slartibartfast
2011-06-28, 01:24 PM
Introduce them to these forums.
[...]
These forums are, as far as I'm concerned, the cure to people who like to play RPGs(video games or otherwise) but don't actually roleplay.

This is probably an excellent solution,but it's sort of long-term. Giant forums aren't quite as good as a short-term fix, but good idea.


[...]
Something that would help a non-RPer like me would be consequences (good or bad) associated with IC activities--a sense that my ICness is actually having some sorta impact on the game world, vice just providing 'meaningless' flavor.

That's a hard one. Obviously, any good DM will make sure that IC actions will have these sorts of effects, the problem is that if the characters don't DO anything IC, you don't have much to react to. We need something to make them start doing IC actions in the first place.


Not everyone can act. If acting doesn't come naturally, that's ok as well. I bet (s)he is more into minmaxing than roleplaying though.

That's the funny one. He's being doing D&D for awhile, but really couldn't minmax if he tried. He made a basic straight wizard with an odd but not unreasonable spell list. Minmaxing doesn't seem to be the issue here, but having munchkins in my group I can oddly enough assert that the munchkins are actually roleplaying. Weird, but I guess you can find all kinds of strange players.


The only people I've "taught" to roleplay are my kids. Hook 'em young, it makes all the difference. :smallwink:

Every other new player was easy. They just hung back, rolled the dice, and observed for the first session (sometimes two). After that, they jumped right into the acting bit.

Yup, that's how I learned D&D, when I was about 3 years old. And from my experience, most players seemed to follow that same pattern you describe. This guy just is staying in the "hang back" state and isn't catching on.


I get much more easily in character and am much more involved if there's some personal stake for my character.

Again, I'd love to give him some personal stake in here, but so far all he's given me to work with is "I'm a wizard." I had a bit of trouble working with so little to go on.


Develop your character as if you're making notes about someone you know. If you're able to get to the point where you think of the character as someone real, and not imaginary, then you've succeeded.

Probably the best answer is to just sit him down and do just that. If I can get him to stick with it the whole way is another question entirely though.


You'd like me as a GM, then - Karma features heavily in all of my games and I'm merciless about lampshading how actions of PCs look to the NPCs. :smallbiggrin:

I bet I would. Sound like good DMing. Your points there are pretty good too. The interesting problem now is taking a player who is very familiar with D&D and still can't roleplay. Still keeping me baffled.

-------------

Good thoughts anyone. I would say this advice could teach anyone to roleplay. I'll go put it to the test and have my player read over this stuff and see if he can work it out. By the power of stubborn perseverance I'll work through this with him eventually!

Pisha
2011-06-28, 01:43 PM
One thing to try, if nothing else seems to be getting through: ask the player what movies, books, tv shows, etc. he likes. Which ones are his absolute favorites? Who is his favorite character? Then challenge him to create a character in the game based on that character.

Yes, it's not as creative or original as making up your own from scratch, but if he's having a hard time getting the idea of roleplay, having an already-established personality to act out could be a good learning tool. Once he starts having fun playing a personality rather than just a collection of stats, then he can work on branching out into developing his own characters.

slaydemons
2011-06-28, 01:57 PM
I told my players to imagine themselves in this world and act like they would in real life.

Slartibartfast
2011-06-28, 02:07 PM
One thing to try, if nothing else seems to be getting through: ask the player what movies, books, tv shows, etc. he likes. Then challenge him to create a character in the game based on that character.

That could work, but I think I'd just insult him with the suggestion of copying something like that. Nice try though. :smallwink:


I told my players to imagine themselves in this world and act like they would in real life.

So far under that tactic he's sat around in bars drinking the entire campaign, and then chucking fireballs at stuff. It's so bland as to be unbelievable. Usually works for people with reasonable natural talent, but I feel like we're closer to starting from scratch here. Especially since I know that his real-life persona doesn't drink that much and is not overly pyrotechnically inclined. At least no more so than the average D&D player.

Traab
2011-06-28, 02:24 PM
The hardest part about roleplaying, to me, is when I know that my character should act a certain way, and I also know that it would be a bad idea to do so. For example, I used to rp a lot in Everquest. One of my characters was a halfling druid that started his life as a warrior. So even though he has all these spells, he doesnt use many of them. Instead he has a kickass hammer and shield, a melee haste item, throws up his damage shield and self buffs, then runs into melee range to beat the mob to death. Got me killed from time to time, but I had fun. Imo, when a real roleplayer gets into a sticky situation, he doesnt think, "Whats the best way to handle this?" He thinks, "How would my character handle this?"

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-28, 02:34 PM
So far under that tactic he's sat around in bars drinking the entire campaign, and then chucking fireballs at stuff. It's so bland as to be unbelievable. Usually works for people with reasonable natural talent, but I feel like we're closer to starting from scratch here. Especially since I know that his real-life persona doesn't drink that much and is not overly pyrotechnically inclined. At least no more so than the average D&D player.

Okay, so he knows the rules alright? Then try this:

Mercilessly barrage him with events in a desperate attempt to squeeze reaction out of him. Pull out all the stops for narrative cheese and ham. Bring out adorable cute little critters and make it abundantly clear they will die if he doesn't help. Have desperate housewives try to woo him. In general, just dump the gameworld upside down on his drunken-pyromaniac-bum face, and watch what happens. :smallbiggrin:

Eldariel
2011-06-28, 02:37 PM
The process of roleplaying is simply acting. Any acting training applies to roleplaying; getting into your character's mind, treating the other actors and imaginary constructs as real people (of course, what that means to your character depends), using a set of traits you follow to define your character, etc.

Of course, this doesn't get to character creation. That's more writing; so any talented actor who writes novels is automatically a good roleplayer :smallwink:

Shadowknight12
2011-06-28, 02:54 PM
Make sure they actually understand what roleplaying is, what it means, and that it is an activity they actually enjoy, before following any advice in this thread. Not all people enjoy excessive roleplaying. Some prefer to be blank slates, stereotypes, or make the minimal token effort it takes for them not to break other people's immersion.

Do not push them somewhere they might not want to go towards. If they hesitate, let them think, postpone the conversation, give them time.

Roleplaying is not, by itself, an enjoyable activity. It is only enjoyable to those who find it so. Do not be mistaken into believing that everyone will enjoy roleplaying with the "right guidance" or the "right encouragement." They might well not.

EDIT:


Okay, so he knows the rules alright? Then try this:

Mercilessly barrage him with events in a desperate attempt to squeeze reaction out of him. Pull out all the stops for narrative cheese and ham. Bring out adorable cute little critters and make it abundantly clear they will die if he doesn't help. Have desperate housewives try to woo him. In general, just dump the gameworld upside down on his drunken-pyromaniac-bum face, and watch what happens. :smallbiggrin:

This is the worst idea I have encountered on these boards. By far. Do not do this unless you are absolutely sure the player will enjoy this, or at least not mind it.

Seb Wiers
2011-06-28, 03:26 PM
Some players just don't quite get the idea of roleplaying. Some of them play themselves, which isn't terrible, but others play inconsistent characters or sort of "blank" characters with no motivation, goals, or personality. I have recently encountered one such player, and I need to teach them how to roleplay. I've explained the general idea to them several times (as have the other players in my group) but it doesn't seem to get through to him.

"Blank characters" are often the result of a blank game world. Without emotionally / morally meaningful events to react to, there's no real "hook" to pull people into meaningful roleplay. Some players make up such things to put in their character's past, but many (myself included) just don't have the drive to do that, especially if they don't know the game world all that well. Giving them a few key past events to hang a character background on can be VERY helpful in that cas.

Mark Hall
2011-06-28, 03:35 PM
What I would suggest is something that gets them to think more about who their characters are and what they want. The usual is some variation on "20 Questions"... like this link (http://dreadpiraterose.wordpress.com/2009/12/30/100-questions-to-ask-about-your-role-playing-character/) to 100 questions. While I think 100 is a bit much to put on someone who isn't used to the idea, having them come up with 20 questions and stick to those as their guidelines brings it to the fore.

You might also try bribery, or homework. Basically, offer XP (significant but not game-changing... in 3.5, maybe 100-200 per level; one or two in things like Vampire or L5R) to explain his character. It used to be called bluebooking, but I imagine you can take care of it with e-mail today (in fact, I need to e-mail my L5R GM about some thoughts I'm having on my Akodo). Why did you do X last week? When it came time to choose, what made your character go with the option he did?

Have people start to react to their actions. If his Paladin is always demanding payment, then start having people comment on that. "Your friend is quite the mercenary. I wonder if he cares about anything... or anybody." When their actions matter, people are more likely to watch them.

Just a few thoughts.

Seb Wiers
2011-06-28, 04:39 PM
The process of roleplaying is simply acting. Any acting training applies to roleplaying; getting into your character's mind, treating the other actors and imaginary constructs as real people (of course, what that means to your character depends)

Until very recently (the popularization of method acting in the 1930s), most of those things were not considered part of acting. A lot of people are totally unaware of the importance of such thinking, and assume that good actors (and role players) are pretty much just people who are good at impersonations of fictional characters.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-28, 05:31 PM
This is the worst idea I have encountered on these boards. By far. Do not do this unless you are absolutely sure the player will enjoy this, or at least not mind it.

Boo! You have no sportsmanship. :smalltongue:

The idea is to throw balls at the player to see how long it takes for him to hit one. It's impossible to tell if he'll enjoy it or not before trying it out, and his enjoyment is a secondary concern at best here. The primary concern is to see what kinds of things will spark a reaction and of what kind. Think of it as enforced method acting. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnforcedMethodActing)

A GM who never does anything unexpected without being "absolutely certain" will not get very far. One of the best ways to find out whether people like something or not is bring them face-to-face with it. Out-of-game discussions will only get you so far, because people often can't tell you just what they will like because they've never experienced it before.

randomhero00
2011-06-28, 05:38 PM
I explain it as an analogue (sp? analog?) to writing a character in a book. Tell them to think of their favorite fantasy story, then insert their own character in there that has connections and motivations etc. So sort of a writing exercise almost (except I tell em just to use their imaginations at first).

Then I tell them DnD (insert game) is just like a communitative (sp? again hehe) story. All they need to do is fit in a character that has ties to the environment. Then "tell" the other players about it by "showing" them during the game.

Pisha
2011-06-28, 07:34 PM
Here's a question: is he having fun?

It's been brought up that not everyone is going to enjoy roleplaying, and that's true. If he really, truly just wants to hang out at a tavern drinking and then throw some fireballs, ok - more power to him, I guess. (The next question, of course, is whether you want to invite him to your next game, if that's all he's going to do, but that's on you.)

If he's not having fun, I'd suggest talking to him about it. Maybe this just isn't his hobby, he doesn't get what the rest of you see in it, and he'd rather go play video games. HOWEVER, if he IS feeling frustrated and wants to get into the game more, start mentioning some of the ideas from this thread. Toss 'em all at him, even the stupid ones, because something might appeal to him that you didn't think would.

(The reason I suggested basing a character off a fictional one, btw, is because it really can be a tool for developing the kind of imagination you need for these games. It can be hard to imagine how you, yourself, would act in certain situations, because for most of us, it's so far divorced from our real lives that we'd have no way of knowing. But you know how various fictional characters react in dramatic, life-or-death situations, because you've seen them do it! If you suggest it and he takes it as an insult, feel free to tell him that one of the best characters I've played with was fairly obviously based on the Doctor. It's a long-standing tradition to steal get character inspirations from popular fiction.)

Shadowknight12
2011-06-28, 07:50 PM
Boo! You have no sportsmanship. :smalltongue:

On the contrary, I have far too much.


The idea is to throw balls at the player to see how long it takes for him to hit one. It's impossible to tell if he'll enjoy it or not before trying it out, and his enjoyment is a secondary concern at best here. The primary concern is to see what kinds of things will spark a reaction and of what kind. Think of it as enforced method acting. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/EnforcedMethodActing)

Again, worst idea I've yet to read in these forums. This is the equivalent of molesting a virgin because they are indecisive about sex. Or stuffing someone's mouth with a food they have never tried before. Or punching them in the face in order to get them to try out boxing. It can work, I have to admit as much, because abnormalities exist everywhere, but the overwhelming majority of cases will provoke the exact opposite effect you're trying to achieve.

Also, Enforced Method Acting is frankly despicable, and I would scorn and boycott any director who did such an atrocity.


A GM who never does anything unexpected without being "absolutely certain" will not get very far. One of the best ways to find out whether people like something or not is bring them face-to-face with it. Out-of-game discussions will only get you so far, because people often can't tell you just what they will like because they've never experienced it before.

You are completely and absolutely mistaken. I have never done anything major without running it through my players first, and not only I have not encountered any problems, the aforementioned players have gone out of their way to get me to DM for them again.

Furthermore, you are treating your players like children, rather than mature adults. If an adult tells me that they dislike something, or that they do not wish to participate in something, or they are ambivalent about trying something out, I respect their decision because they are, in fact, mature adults. I do not override their preferences "because I know best." You do not tell a virgin "Don't worry, you'll like it!" as you proceed to molest them.

No means no.

Slartibartfast
2011-06-28, 09:07 PM
I will ignore the "enforced method acting" subthread for a bit.


Here's a question: is he having fun?

No? He's not having fun, but he says that he's not having fun because his character never gets to do anything. Of course, the reason his character never gets to do anything is because he spends his time doing nothing of consequence. I've even tried taking some of the events of consequence to him, but he chose to ignore them and continue drinking. That left me in a logical paradox loop which I politely pointed out to him. There really hasn't been an answer yet.

At this point I may very well give up, although the flavor of giving up is one I have yet to choose.

Back to Enforced Method Acting: Actually, I probably shouldn't get back to it. The topic seems dangerous. Regardless, I'd think that going all-out like that is fairly nonsensical because it picks a flavor of comedic and unrealistic play which isn't really our group's style. That's more like a cartoon or a really bad soap opera than a serious D&D game (not to say that non-serious D&D games don't exist or aren't fun, because they can definitely be fun. Also: Toon). Just doesn't mesh.

@Randomhero: "Communatative" should be "communal." Pretty sure that's the word you're looking for. And yeah, tried some analogies.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 07:34 AM
Again, worst idea I've yet to read in these forums. This is the equivalent of molesting a virgin because they are indecisive about sex. Or stuffing someone's mouth with a food they have never tried before. Or punching them in the face in order to get them to try out boxing. It can work, I have to admit as much, because abnormalities exist everywhere, but the overwhelming majority of cases will provoke the exact opposite effect you're trying to achieve.

Also, Enforced Method Acting is frankly despicable, and I would scorn and boycott any director who did such an atrocity.

Way to overblow things, pal. :smalltongue: If you scrolled down the example list, especially to the RPG section, you'd noticed that there are fair few perfectly innocious ways of implementing this. A closer analogy would be to ask them to taste a food they don't know, or handing them a pair of gloves and saying "tonight, we fight".

There is no "exact opposite" effect, because we're not trying to achieve a particular effect, we're trying to achieve some effect. Even if the effect is "dude, not funny", the observation is invaluable because it helps the player clarify his stance.


You are completely and absolutely mistaken. I have never done anything major without running it through my players first, and not only I have not encountered any problems, the aforementioned players have gone out of their way to get me to DM for them again.
Well, good for you. Not the situation at hand here, though. As noted, the player we're dealing with can't express what he wants in a sensical way, and might not even know. So the GM has to engage in a bit of empiricism to draw it out.


Furthermore, you are treating your players like children, rather than mature adults. If an adult tells me that they dislike something, or that they do not wish to participate in something, or they are ambivalent about trying something out, I respect their decision because they are, in fact, mature adults. I do not override their preferences "because I know best." You do not tell a virgin "Don't worry, you'll like it!" as you proceed to molest them.

No means no.

My philosophy in teaching new players might be colored by the fact that they have lately been literal children. However, I've also observed that "adult" only somewhat correlates with "mature"; some adults warrant being treated like brats because they act like such. Especially in the field of games, regression to a childish attitude is pretty common; I should note that roleplaying is fundamenttaly similar in many ways to make-believe of little kids, and first time roleplayers often act in a way that resembles such.

But again, your steadfast opposition to my method seems to come from not considering the specific case before us: we are not dealing with an invidual who knows what he wants. It's impossible to "respect their decision", because they're incapable of making one. It's not a "virgin" we have here; as noted, the guy knows the rules, he's been in play for a long time. What we have here is someone who's been around a couple of times and wants to try something new, but has no clue what that new thing might be. This means that the other party, in this case the GM, has to introduce him to options available.



Back to Enforced Method Acting: Actually, I probably shouldn't get back to it. The topic seems dangerous.

Bah. It seems dangerous only because our friend Shadowknight is being melodramatic. :smalltongue: Look at the listed examples in the trope page, scroll down to tabletop games to see how this would actually work in practice.


Regardless, I'd think that going all-out like that is fairly nonsensical because it picks a flavor of comedic and unrealistic play which isn't really our group's style. That's more like a cartoon or a really bad soap opera than a serious D&D game (not to say that non-serious D&D games don't exist or aren't fun, because they can definitely be fun. Also: Toon). Just doesn't mesh.

Now this is a valid concern. Putting the event generator on hyperdrive tends to lean towards melodrama. It's possible to implement the method within desired genre limits, though. What's the standing plan? What kind of setting and genre are you operating in?

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 07:47 AM
Way to overblow things, pal. :smalltongue: If you scrolled down the example list, especially to the RPG section, you'd noticed that there are fair few perfectly innocious ways of implementing this. A closer analogy would be to ask them to taste a food they don't know, or handing them a pair of gloves and saying "tonight, we fight".

I exaggerated on purpose, to better demonstrate my point. What you are suggesting is just as wrong, on principle.


There is no "exact opposite" effect, because we're not trying to achieve a particular effect, we're trying to achieve some effect. Even if the effect is "dude, not funny", the observation is invaluable because it helps the player clarify his stance.

Oh, right, next time I want to know if a woman is interested in me, I'll just kiss her out of the blue. Hey, at least if she slaps me, I'll have achieved some effect, right? It'll help clarify her stance.


Well, good for you. Not the situation at hand here, though. As noted, the player we're dealing with can't express what he wants in a sensical way, and might not even know. So the GM has to engage in a bit of empiricism to draw it out.

Wrong. If the player can't express what he wants in a sensical way, that's his loss. Because he is an adult, and should not be spared the consequences of his actions. If he is too shy to communicate what he wants or too indecisive, then that's a personal trait of his that he has to work on by himself. It is not up to the DM to "fix" people.


My philosophy in teaching new players might be colored by the fact that they have lately been literal children. However, I've also observed that "adult" only somewhat correlates with "mature"; some adults warrant being treated like brats because they act like such. Especially in the field of games, regression to a childish attitude is pretty common; I should note that roleplaying is fundamenttaly similar in many ways to make-believe of little kids, and first time roleplayers often act in a way that resembles such.

Gaming with children is a completely different matter. That is not what we're discussing here. I used the term "mature" as a way to condition the word "adult." I specified "mature adult" not because all adults are mature, but because my stance only applies to those adults that are mature. If a player is acting like a child and you have no interest in dealing with children, you do not cater to the player's childishness, you treat him like the adult he is. If he doesn't like this, he can find himself another DM.


But again, your steadfast opposition to my method seems to come from not considering the specific case before us: we are not dealing with an invidual who knows what he wants. It's impossible to "respect their decision", because they're incapable of making one. It's not a "virgin" we have here; as noted, the guy knows the rules, he's been in play for a long time. What we have here is someone who's been around a couple of times and wants to try something new, but has no clue what that new thing might be. This means that the other party, in this case the GM, has to introduce him to options available.

On the contrary, the "virgin" analogy still applies. It's someone who "does not know what he wants" and "has no clue what this new thing he may/may not want to try is." You do not impose your will upon others. If the player is too indecisive or shy, you let him miss out on the activity. That is the consequence of indecision. That is the consequence of lacking agency, decisiveness and courage.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 08:11 AM
You do not impose your will upon others. If the player is too indecisive or shy, you let him miss out on the activity. That is the consequence of indecision. That is the consequence of lacking agency, decisiveness and courage.

Pardon me, but I thought this thread was about teaching. Teaching is impossible without imposing your will on someone to some extent. (And I strongly feel there's irrational amount of opposition towards the concept in these boards.) Letting the player miss out misses the point if the idea is to get him over it.

EDIT: and the virgin analogy still is misplaced. The guy knows the rules, and he knows what he's signed in for. Note that he said he wants "something to do" and the GM has already tried offering him events. What I'm proposing is simply for the GM to ramp up what he's been doing already to speed finding out what exactly triggers a response.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 08:14 AM
Pardon me, but I thought this thread was about teaching. Teaching is impossible without imposing your will on someone to some extent. (And I strongly feel there's irrational amount of opposition towards the concept in these boards.) Letting the player miss out misses the point if the idea is to get him over it.

You teach children or people who ask to be taught. If there is opposition, there is a reason for that, and that reason should be pondered instead of tossed away because "you know best."

Posters come here with terrible, downright awful ideas all the time. Our job as a community is to inform them of the possible consequences of their actions and then letting them decide for themselves if they really want to go through with it.

You have done your part and presented your argument. Now let me do the same.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 08:19 AM
You teach children or people who ask to be taught. If there is opposition, there is a reason for that, and that reason should be pondered instead of tossed away because "you know best."

Yeah, and as noted, the guy has asked to be taught. He wants something for his character to do, and that's exactly what I'm proposing of giving him. :smalltongue:


Posters come here with terrible, downright awful ideas all the time. Our job as a community is to inform them of the possible consequences of their actions and then letting them decide for themselves if they really want to go through with it.

You have done your part and presented your argument. Now let me do the same.

Sure. But I resent the way you exaggerate and overblow my proposed advice to make it artificially seem worse and less fitting of the situation than it actually is.

Seb Wiers
2011-06-29, 10:16 AM
This is the equivalent of molesting a virgin because they are indecisive about sex. Or stuffing someone's mouth with a food they have never tried before. Or punching them in the face in order to get them to try out boxing.

No, its not the "equivalent". Its not even analogous. Saying otherwise is mind bogglingly insulting to the victims of (sexual) assault and abuse.

What might be analogous would be throwing them a surprise party when they don't normally go to parties, but haven't ever stated they dislike parties, and have in fact asked why there never seem to be any parties for them to go to.


Also, Enforced Method Acting is frankly despicable, and I would scorn and boycott any director who did such an atrocity.

So, no original Star Wars trilogy (or any other Lucas film) for you then, eh? (Hint: "Luke, I am your father" wasn't in the script Hamill saw.)

Elvenoutrider
2011-06-29, 12:03 PM
In my experience its hard to teach people to role play, and you cant tell someone how to play a certain character or the player wont feel it. For some people role playing is natural, for me, it took a few campaigns in addition to being on an rp server for a little while in wow before my characters started being more than just stats on a sheet of paper.

Therefore, I like to lead by example, and eventually people pick up on it.

When I have a new player I give them first choice of character, so they can make the character they want and makes it easier for them to get into the character. If they need help, I help them make a character based on their favorite book or movie character.

Basically, give the newbie what he wants and then role play your own character to the best of your ability in front of him. It took a while but its how I learned

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 12:39 PM
Yeah, and as noted, the guy has asked to be taught. He wants something for his character to do, and that's exactly what I'm proposing of giving him. :smalltongue:

Reread the OP. It doesn't say that the player asked to be taught. For all we know, it may all be in the OP's mind.


Sure. But I resent the way you exaggerate and overblow my proposed advice to make it artificially seem worse and less fitting of the situation than it actually is.

Wrong. I exaggerate and overblow your advice in order to show exactly how bad it is. In many cases, you can pass off bad advice under the guise of a seemingly innocuous situation, such as this one. Only by exaggeration and comparison you are able to see that the underlying principle is heavily flawed.


No, its not the "equivalent". Its not even analogous. Saying otherwise is mind bogglingly insulting to the victims of (sexual) assault and abuse.

I will say only this: There is a reason I made that specific comparison, and it was not done lightly or carelessly. I know exactly what I'm talking about and what I am implying. Is there a difference of degree between the proposed advice and my examples? Of course. But the underlying principle is the same.


What might be analogous would be throwing them a surprise party when they don't normally go to parties, but haven't ever stated they dislike parties, and have in fact asked why there never seem to be any parties for them to go to.

That is closer in degree, yes, but once again, the underlying principle is the same. They have never asked to be thrown a surprise party. If they have never gone to a party, that is their problem and their loss.


So, no original Star Wars trilogy (or any other Lucas film) for you then, eh? (Hint: "Luke, I am your father" wasn't in the script Hamill saw.)

I have never seen any Star Wars or Star Trek or Star Whatever movie/series/comic books/games/etc, and George Lucas is in my "do not watch, ever" list of directors. I would despise him, but I can only work up enough distaste to pity him.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 12:56 PM
Reread the OP. It doesn't say that the player asked to be taught. For all we know, it may all be in the OP's mind.

Reread what came after. The player's gripe is that his character doesn't have things to do, and while the GM has tried to give him things to do, nothing has hit home yet. My advice amounts to upping the ante. You're claiming that is the most awful advice ever based on how its "underlying principle" is heavily flawed, ignoring the context and specific framework it was given in.


Wrong. I exaggerate and overblow your advice in order to show exactly how bad it is. In many cases, you can pass off bad advice under the guise of a seemingly innocuous situation, such as this one. Only by exaggeration and comparison you are able to see that the underlying principle is heavily flawed.


*spit take*

Okay, by your logic killing a gnat is as awful an advice as killing a human, because the underlying principle is flawed. You're overgeneralizing a specific advice to the point where it stops to make sense.

You're equating surprising player within accepted framework of a game to rape. You might as well say surprise, in general, is evil, because that's what your argument amounts to.

It boggles my mind you don't see how ridiculous that is.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 01:11 PM
Reread what came after. The player's gripe is that his character doesn't have things to do, and while the GM has tried to give him things to do, nothing has hit home yet. My advice amounts to upping the ante. You're claiming that is the most awful advice ever based on how its "underlying principle" is heavily flawed, ignoring the context and specific framework it was given in.

Do keep in mind that this is what the OP is telling us. We have no way of verifying if this is the case. Furthermore, he is still not saying that the player is asking to be taught. He could have been making an excuse, e.g., "Roleplay? Well... uh... it's just that... I don't have a lot of stuff to do..."

The only facts we have is that the OP feels that his player does not roleplay well enough for his tastes.


*spit take*

Okay, by your logic killing a gnat is as awful an advice as killing a human, because the underlying principle is flawed. You're overgeneralizing a specific advice to the point where it stops to make sense.

And you're just doing that yourself. Isn't it a wonderful technique?

In short, yes, you can do that. If you are person who is opposed to the killing of all macroscopic lifeforms (and this is a perfectly valid philosophy to espouse, right? Surely you are not implying that extreme pacifists are somehow silly or ridiculous, are you?), then comparing a gnat to a human is perfectly valid, because for them, killing either would be equally wrong.


You're equating surprising player within accepted framework of a game to rape. You might as well say surprise, in general, is evil, because that's what your argument amounts to.

It boggles my mind you don't see how ridiculous that is.

Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. Some people do not like surprises. Some people do not like being given things they have not asked for. Some people would like others to mind their own business.

My position in this debate is "Check with your player if he truly wants you to teach him how to RP before implementing any technique whatsoever."

bebosteveo
2011-06-29, 01:41 PM
I'll assume that the concept of the game with stats, rolling, and killing things to take their stuff is already understood.

The way I learned how to roleplay is this: The GM told me to pick 3+ personality traits that were completely the opposite from how I was in real life. So if I was agnostic, he'd want me to play someone who was very spiritual. If I was a real outdoors-man, he's say to play someone that was used to the high-society urban life. Then, whenever I was presented with a situation in game, I could point to these distinct, well-defined traits and say "my character does X because of Y". Eventually I could build-up the complexity and create truly deep characters.

I think one issue people have when they start roleplaying is that they go into the game trying to play themselves or someone like them and as a result can't see the reasoning for their actions. A person doesn't think "I yelled at my boss because he's just like my father who never supported me", they think "I just snapped." They don't see any definitive causes for their actions because they are just acting on instinct. Playing your polar opposite lets you see the personality as a series of thoughts and influences that aren't your own and consider how you should react because of them.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 01:41 PM
And you're just doing that yourself. Isn't it a wonderful technique?

Regardless of whether it is, your use of it was not.


In short, yes, you can do that. If you are person who is opposed to the killing of all macroscopic lifeforms (and this is a perfectly valid philosophy to espouse, right? Surely you are not implying that extreme pacifists are somehow silly or ridiculous, are you?), then comparing a gnat to a human is perfectly valid, because for them, killing either would be equally wrong.

Utterly besides the point. The point is you took a part of the original advice outside the context it was given in and proceeded to misapply it to a situation it was never proposed for.

To continue on the example, you're assuming that the OP and the player consider gnats equally valuable to humans, when nothing points to that direction. You're specifically taking the viewpoint from which the given advice would look worst possible, regardless of whether that viewpoint applies. This is why I said you're artificially making my advice look worse than it actually is.


Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. Some people do not like surprises. Some people do not like being given things they have not asked for. Some people would like others to mind their own business.
Which is all fine and dandy, but not enough to make your stance into a general principle. You're utterly detaching the concept of surprise from what the surprise really is, ignoring all the reasons why it might be beneficial or wanted. (For the last part, you're also discounting those people who'd like others to mind their own business, but would unquestionably benefit from others minding theirs as well. But that's another discussion entirely.)


My position in this debate is "Check with your player if he truly wants you to teach him how to RP before implementing any technique whatsoever."

Again, all fine and dandy. But the way you went around stating it in opposition to my viewpoint was absurd.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 01:54 PM
Regardless of whether it is, your use of it was not.

Aaaaand the irony goes whoosh over your head...


Utterly besides the point. The point is you took a part of the original advice outside the context it was given in and proceeded to misapply it to a situation it was never proposed for.

Yes. I've stated over and over this is a valid technique to better showcase the flaws of the underlying principle.


To continue on the example, you're assuming that the OP and the player consider gnats equally valuable to humans, when nothing points to that direction. You're specifically taking the viewpoint from which the given advice would look worst possible, regardless of whether that viewpoint applies. This is why I said you're artificially making my advice look worse than it actually is.

No. I am saying that if one was against the killing of macroscopic lifeforms, it would be acceptable to compare the killing of a gnat with the killing of a human, because the person would be trying to showcase the flaws of the underlying principle (killing macroscopic lifeforms) through exaggeration.

I am not artificially making your advice look worse. Your advice needs no help of mine to look terrible on its own. If you have an issue with my examples, that's not of my concern. I have explained the sound logic of my method over and over and over and you're trying to get me to agree to something I will never agree to. You are wasting your time.


Which is all fine and dandy, but not enough to make your stance into a general principle. You're utterly detaching the concept of surprise from what the surprise really is, ignoring all the reasons why it might be beneficial or wanted. (For the last part, you're also discounting those people who'd like others to mind their own business, but would unquestionably benefit from others minding theirs as well. But that's another discussion entirely.)

Again, all fine and dandy. But the way you went around stating it in opposition to my viewpoint was absurd.

Wrong. I am against the removal of choice. You are advocating removing choice from others. That is the principle against which I am arguing. If a person likes surprises and other people minding their own business, then that's all well and good for them. But they should have the freedom to choose whether they want to be surprised or not. Sure, I am mainly espousing the point of view of the person who does not enjoy whatever it is being given, precisely to demonstrate what the negative consequences of such removal of choice can be, but that doesn't mean that I would change my tune if the person WAS fond of surprises.

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-29, 02:43 PM
Aaaaand the irony goes whoosh over your head...

Yes. I've stated over and over this is a valid technique to better showcase the flaws of the underlying principle.

*snip*

I am not artificially making your advice look worse. Your advice needs no help of mine to look terrible on its own. If you have an issue with my examples, that's not of my concern. I have explained the sound logic of my method over and over and over and you're trying to get me to agree to something I will never agree to. You are wasting your time.

Wrong. I am against the removal of choice. You are advocating removing choice from others. That is the principle against which I am arguing. If a person likes surprises and other people minding their own business, then that's all well and good for them. But they should have the freedom to choose whether they want to be surprised or not. Sure, I am mainly espousing the point of view of the person who does not enjoy whatever it is being given, precisely to demonstrate what the negative consequences of such removal of choice can be, but that doesn't mean that I would change my tune if the person WAS fond of surprises.

1: I see no irony, as I understand it. Would you please clarify?

2: Likewise, Frozen Feet has stated over and over again that it is not. I'm inclined to peg it down as just an opinion as to whether or not it is valid. If the underlying principle is as bad as you state, you should be able to provide an example within the same degree.

3: Whether it looks bad is a matter of opinion. It is your concern, because other people have stated that they do not think your examples are valid. Your method does not seem logical to me-quite the opposite, actually. And if you will never agree, then why bother responding?

4: Doesn't seem to be removal of choice. He's still free to sit around like a bum if he wants to-it'll just have negative consequences, as it should. And if the person was in favor, then your tune would be incorrect in this case, because he would enjoy it, no?

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 02:51 PM
You don't get it, do you? I know what you're trying to do - reduce given advice to absurdity to show how bad it is. But on the way to do that, you're tripping on a logical fallacy of your own (overgeneralization and equivocation), making your criticism absurd and invalid for the given situation.

I have nothing major against your statements "ask before acting" or "let the player choose". I'm not exactly amused, however, by your insistence that my advice is "most horrible ever" when your criticism of it is based on a flawed technique.

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-29, 03:00 PM
I have nothing major against your statements "ask before acting" or "let the player choose". I'm not exactly amused, however, by your insistence that my advice is "most horrible ever" when your criticism of it is based on a flawed technique.

Better stated than me.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 03:12 PM
1: I see no irony, as I understand it. Would you please clarify?

He is complaining of me using exaggerated examples to show a flawed underlying principle and then he does the exact same thing. That's ironic.


2: Likewise, Frozen Feet has stated over and over again that it is not. I'm inclined to peg it down as just an opinion as to whether or not it is valid. If the underlying principle is as bad as you state, you should be able to provide an example within the same degree.

And I can provide countless examples within the same degree, but the problem is precisely the degree. The small degree makes any suggested example innocuous and permissible, and minimises the flaws. In order for those flaws to be exposed and analysed, one must maximise them in order to bring them to everyone's attention, much like using a microscope to examine something in greater detail.


3: Whether it looks bad is a matter of opinion. It is your concern, because other people have stated that they do not think your examples are valid. Your method does not seem logical to me-quite the opposite, actually. And if you will never agree, then why bother responding?

No, actually, that's not what I said at all. He was the one who accused me of making his advice look bad. I never expressed my opinion on the matter, other than it was one of the worst ideas I had heard on these forums. That was the full extent of my opinion on the matter. I do agree, however, that such a thing is entirely subjective, which is why I said it only twice.

I respond because I keep being challenged and it costs me nothing. I obviously do not expect others to agree, but that doesn't mean I can't rebuff every single counterpoint that can be possibly raised against me. After all, the more you both try to prove me wrong and the more I showcase how flawed your arguments are, the less chances are that Frozen_Feet's suggestion will be taken seriously.


4: Doesn't seem to be removal of choice. He's still free to sit around like a bum if he wants to-it'll just have negative consequences, as it should. And if the person was in favor, then your tune would be incorrect in this case, because he would enjoy it, no?

There is a removal of choice. It is a fact that you cannot deny or disprove. If you do not ask the person permission before inflicting a situation upon them, and you force them to undertake a certain action (in this case, RPing), you are removing their choice. By forcing them to RP, whether they enjoy it or not, you are removing their choice.

No, my tune would not be incorrect, because my tune is "Ask them first if they want to be taught," if they are in favour, asking them does not change the end result in any way, while it does prevent a possible negative outcome if they are not in favour. There is literally no downside to what I am suggesting, as oppose to the possible negative consequences of Frozen_Feet's advice.



You don't get it, do you? I know what you're trying to do - reduce given advice to absurdity to show how bad it is. But on the way to do that, you're tripping on a logical fallacy of your own (overgeneralization and equivocation), making your criticism absurd and invalid for the given situation.

I would very much like to know how "A group contains the elements A, B, C and D. Another group contains the elements A, Z, Y and K. Using the first group is like using the second one!" "Oh, you mean because they both contain the element A?" "Yes, exactly" is a fallacy. Even though both groups are completely different except for one element, my intention is precisely to bring attention to that element, so this is a perfectly valid technique to do that, bringing attention to a specific element within a group. In this case, that element would be the removal of choice.


I have nothing major against your statements "ask before acting" or "let the player choose". I'm not exactly amused, however, by your insistence that my advice is "most horrible ever" when your criticism of it is based on a flawed technique.

I will give you another example. A while ago, there was a thread where a DM complained that a player who played a character who slept with every NPC that crossed her path was making him feel uncomfortable. There was a poster there that suggested explicitly describing the genital mutilation of the player's character. Your advice was even worse than that, because at least the negative outcome of such an advice has less chances of rendering the player utterly disgusted with the very concept of roleplaying and RPGs.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 03:48 PM
I would very much like to know how "A group contains the elements A, B, C and D. Another group contains the elements A, Z, Y and K. Using the first group is like using the second one!" "Oh, you mean because they both contain the element A?" "Yes, exactly" is a fallacy. Even though both groups are completely different except for one element, my intention is precisely to bring attention to that element, so this is a perfectly valid technique to do that, bringing attention to a specific element within a group. In this case, that element would be the removal of choice.

Yes, it is a fallacy, when the second set is made evil by Z, Y and K, and A is largely co-incidental. Your logic is

Proposed method contains surprise
Rape contains surprise as well
Rape is evil
Therefore, proposed method is evil.

... and you claim you don't see anything funny with this reasoning?

You're criticism is based on the idea that B, C and D are co-incidental to the proposed method, when they're the ones that allow for A to be used. On the other hand, you could remove A from the other set entirely and it'd still be wrong.

And I resent your idea that my proposal is based on "removal of choice", when crux of the whole method was presenting more choices, faster.


Your advice was even worse than that, because at least the negative outcome of such an advice has less chances of rendering the player utterly disgusted with the very concept of roleplaying and RPGs.
Yeah, go ahead and explain how. What I proposed was rapidfiring plot hooks to a player to see if he gets interested in any. You're saying that's worse than taking away player control of their gamepiece just to do disgusting things to it. I find that pretty hard to believe.

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-29, 03:54 PM
He is complaining of me using exaggerated examples to show a flawed underlying principle and then he does the exact same thing. That's ironic.

Oh. Well, that flew over my head, too. :smallbiggrin:


And I can provide countless examples within the same degree, but the problem is precisely the degree. The small degree makes any suggested example innocuous and permissible, and minimises the flaws. In order for those flaws to be exposed and analysed, one must maximise them in order to bring them to everyone's attention, much like using a microscope to examine something in greater detail

I don't really agree. after all, the flaws don't seem like they would make the idea horrible on this degree. While I wouldn't do it, it is a valid method, on a group-by-group and person-by-person basis.


No, actually, that's not what I said at all. He was the one who accused me of making his advice look bad. I never expressed my opinion on the matter, other than it was one of the worst ideas I had heard on these forums. That was the full extent of my opinion on the matter. I do agree, however, that such a thing is entirely subjective, which is why I said it only twice.

His opinion is that an increase of degree is making his idea look worse than it is. Also, worst? Re-read that part about genital mutilation you mentioned.


I respond because I keep being challenged and it costs me nothing. I obviously do not expect others to agree, but that doesn't mean I can't rebuff every single counterpoint that can be possibly raised against me. After all, the more you both try to prove me wrong and the more I showcase how flawed your arguments are, the less chances are that Frozen_Feet's suggestion will be taken seriously.

Okay. Neither FF nor I agree with your counterpoints. You could try rephrasing them. I'm not trying to prove you wrong, I'm trying to show how your argument is flawed, or at least seems flawed to about three observers (I think there was somebody else...). I don't disagree with you, though.


There is a removal of choice. It is a fact that you cannot deny or disprove. If you do not ask the person permission before inflicting a situation upon them, and you force them to undertake a certain action (in this case, RPing), you are removing their choice. By forcing them to RP, whether they enjoy it or not, you are removing their choice.

If he doesn't want to RP, then he shouldn't play DnD. He doesn't have to RP, he can quit the group. Also, the thread opener said in his... third post, I think... that he requested more things for his character to do, and the DM attempted to oblige. FF seems to be advocating a more drastic measure [of the same].


No, my tune would not be incorrect, because my tune is "Ask them first if they want to be taught," if they are in favour, asking them does not change the end result in any way, while it does prevent a possible negative outcome if they are not in favour. There is literally no downside to what I am suggesting, as oppose to the possible negative consequences of Frozen_Feet's advice.

I misinterpreted what you meant by tune. I thought you meant case-by-case, not overall. Sorry.


*snip*

I will give you another example. A while ago, there was a thread where a DM complained that a player who played a character who slept with every NPC that crossed her path was making him feel uncomfortable. There was a poster there that suggested explicitly describing the genital mutilation of the player's character. Your advice was even worse than that, because at least the negative outcome of such an advice has less chances of rendering the player utterly disgusted with the very concept of roleplaying and RPGs.

The horror... :smalleek: I don't see how it is possible for anything to be worse than THAT.

___

I think what should be done would be to tell him OOC to get off his bum and go find the dang adventure. But nicely. Adventure lies within his reach, after all.

EDITED: for the typos.

Avaris
2011-06-29, 03:58 PM
Going back to the OP...

An interesiting way of teaching RP (though granted I've mostly taught myself this way), is to get the player to see the game as a comic book (or other entertaiment medium; TV show or book maybe). I've been playing in a superhero game for a while now, and the GM divides the games into 'Issues', describing the comic cover etc. As a player, I find myself enjoying the game as a 'reader' rather than an active participant; my character does things because I as a 'reader' think they would be cool or In character to do, not because I as the player think its the best idea. This also helps me enjoy the actions of the other characters more, even when they may be at odds to what my character wants to happen.

In other words, and contary to what others may say, I think a sense of detachment is vital. RP is ultimately about a story, and making the story enjoyable as a reader means that the characters will be more able to act appropriately for their personality (rather than the players)

Tyndmyr
2011-06-29, 03:59 PM
How would you explain roleplaying to these people? More importantly, how would you teach these people who are having difficulty understanding HOW to roleplay, so that they can learn to roleplay themselves?

By squirting them with the water bottle, shoving their nose in it, and screaming NO! whenever they fail to roleplay well.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-29, 04:06 PM
By squirting them with the water bottle, shoving their nose in it, and screaming NO! whenever they fail to roleplay well.

Finally! Someone who understands! XD

Shadowknight12
2011-06-29, 10:01 PM
Yes, it is a fallacy, when the second set is made evil by Z, Y and K, and A is largely co-incidental. Your logic is

Proposed method contains surprise
Rape contains surprise as well
Rape is evil
Therefore, proposed method is evil.

... and you claim you don't see anything funny with this reasoning?

I never said evil. I never made any judgements on the nature of the underlying principle. You choose to see that in my words. Go back and re-read my posts. The only thing I said was that it was the worst idea I had ever heard, and that it had the potential to cause the opposite effect to what was desired. If Z, Y and K are evil, that's beside the point. I am not drawing attention to Z, Y and K. I am drawing attention to A. The fact that Z, Y and K are more readily apparent than B, C and D, doesn't make my reasoning flawed.

Furthermore, that's not what I am implying. My reasoning is:

Proposed method has similarities with rape.
Proposed method has similarities with force-feeding.
Proposed method has similarities with face-punching.
Rape removes choice.
Force-feeding removes choice.
Face-punching removes choice.
Therefore,
Proposed method removes choice.


You're criticism is based on the idea that B, C and D are co-incidental to the proposed method, when they're the ones that [I]allow for A to be used. On the other hand, you could remove A from the other set entirely and it'd still be wrong.

And I resent your idea that my proposal is based on "removal of choice", when crux of the whole method was presenting more choices, faster.

Uh, no, actually. The reason rape is wrong is precisely because it removes choice. Well, sure, there's also pain and humiliation and other unwholesome things, but what separates sex from rape is precisely the removal of choice. It is rape because the person is no longer being allowed to decide whether they want to go through with it or not. I do not care about Z, Y and K (because people have consensual sex with all those things, and that does not make it rape). I am talking about A, and saying that A has a big chance of backfiring, not to mention a lot of people consider it insulting or morally wrong.

Your proposal is, in a nutshell, about forcing the player to roleplay, whether he wants it or not. You are not advocating asking the player first, or checking if he won't mind you doing that. You are, in fact, removing his choice on the matter.


Yeah, go ahead and explain how. What I proposed was rapidfiring plot hooks to a player to see if he gets interested in any. You're saying that's worse than taking away player control of their gamepiece just to do disgusting things to it. I find that pretty hard to believe.

Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. I'm outta here, and finding a less crazy DM."
Player B: "This is roleplaying? I don't like it. I don't think I'm coming here again. In fact, I'm pretty sure roleplaying is not my thing at all."

In the second case, the player has had his perception of roleplaying tainted by a DM's carelessness, thereby generating a long-lasting impact on him. In the first case, the player is understandably crept out, but she understands that the fault lies with the DM and that roleplaying or the game are not to be blamed for the awful situation she's been through.



Oh. Well, that flew over my head, too. :smallbiggrin:

:smalltongue:


I don't really agree. after all, the flaws don't seem like they would make the idea horrible on this degree. While I wouldn't do it, it is a valid method, on a group-by-group and person-by-person basis.

*shrug* I have outlined the consequences. I cannot (and will not) force anyone to agree with me. I can only provide information and allow others to make up their own minds.


His opinion is that an increase of degree is making his idea look worse than it is. Also, worst? Re-read that part about genital mutilation you mentioned.

Oh, then there's really nothing I can do about it. If he doesn't find the comparison favourable... well, what can I say? Removal of choice is an unpleasant topic to touch.

Eh, read what I typed above. Guess which one will cause a long-lasting impact and which one will be overcome after a while.


Okay. Neither FF nor I agree with your counterpoints. You could try rephrasing them. I'm not trying to prove you wrong, I'm trying to show how your argument is flawed, or at least seems flawed to about three observers (I think there was somebody else...). I don't disagree with you, though.

The examples are extreme and cast FF's argument in a bad light. Yes. This is not my goal, but I consider it an acceptable outcome. I cannot apologise for this secondary consequence of my main argument against him, because it would imply that I did wrong, when I didn't. If you would like me to stop the comparison, then I have already stopped a long, long time ago. He's the one who's keeping this argument going.


If he doesn't want to RP, then he shouldn't play DnD. He doesn't have to RP, he can quit the group. Also, the thread opener said in his... third post, I think... that he requested more things for his character to do, and the DM attempted to oblige. FF seems to be advocating a more drastic measure [of the same].

This is a terrible advice. D&D does not require roleplaying. I have seen arena games in which there is no roleplaying at all, merely pure combat, no IC whatsoever. Character have no personalities, no backgrounds, and they're lucky to have actual names. That is, whether you like it or not, D&D. Every player has the right to roleplay as much or as little as they want to. If the DM is not satisfied with this, he should sit down and have a nice talk with the player where he expresses his desires in clear, concise ways, and tries to work out with the player if those desires can be met and if the player is willing to adjust his behaviour to satisfy the DM. And vice-versa, of course, if the situation was reversed.


I misinterpreted what you meant by tune. I thought you meant case-by-case, not overall. Sorry.

No problem, I should've been clearer.


The horror... :smalleek: I don't see how it is possible for anything to be worse than THAT.

YMMV, but I'd rather have my character viciously mutilated than being asked something as a player. A character is a character. He is not me. He is meaningless and disposable. What happens IC stays IC and has no impact on my life whatsoever. What happens OOC, however, does. I would be extremely angry if the DM sprung anything like that on me, because it is no longer an IC matter.


I think what should be done would be to tell him OOC to get off his bum and go find the dang adventure. But nicely. Adventure lies within his reach, after all.

He should be asked what he wants to do. And if the DM actively wants him to do something (in this case, change his behaviour), he should be asked if it would be all right for him to comply with such a request.

Choice.

Let. The player. Have. Choice.

{Scrubbed}

Seb Wiers
2011-06-30, 12:34 AM
He should be asked what he wants to do. And if the DM actively wants him to do something (in this case, change his behaviour), he should be asked if it would be all right for him to comply with such a request.

Choice.

Let. The player. Have. Choice.

He should make that choice when joining the game / sitting at the table. Dragging it into the game session is... unproductive.
What you are saying above reminds me of the early 90's PC college campus sex policies where the only consensual sex was when every action was preceded by explicit verbal permission. Lack of non verbal communication ruins sex (for a lot of people), making this an arguably sexist policy.
Lack of unexpected situations ruins gaming (for a lot of people). Hell, I can (hopefully) get put in unexpected emotional situations just reading a novel or watching a movie; that's WHY I do those things.
Different things work differently for different people.


{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}

Just so those who may have missed what I HOPE is the sarcasm above, as a general rule the ONLY time violent self defense is legally justified is after you've tried to remove yourself from the situation, or its can be demonstrated that you had no ability to do so / did so as soon as able. Anything else is just fighting (and not "fighting back", but plain "fighting").

Shadowknight12
2011-06-30, 12:44 AM
He should make that choice when joining the game / sitting at the table. Dragging it into the game session is... unproductive.

Not necessarily. IF the rules were clearly stated before the player sat at the table, then yes, you are right. If those rules were not stated beforehand, the player is not agreeing to them. A DM who pulls something out of the blue and says "Oh, but you agreed to this when you sat down at the table!" is abusing his position and committing a logical fallacy. Unless, of course, the rule to which the player agreed was "I get complete freedom to spring anything on you and you have to accept it." In which case, of course, you'd be right.


Hell, I can (hopefully) get put in unexpected emotional situations just reading a novel or watching a movie; that's WHY I do those things.

Good for you. Other people don't. Asking costs you nothing and it is both polite and mature.


Just so those who may have missed what I HOPE is the sarcasm above, as a general rule the ONLY time violent self defense is legally justified is after you've tried to remove yourself from the situation, or its can be demonstrated that you had no ability to do so / did so as soon as able. Anything else is just fighting (and not "fighting back", but plain "fighting").

My previous statement was sarcasm so heavy and dense that I am currently looking for a way to measure its gravitational pull.

Frozen_Feet
2011-06-30, 08:11 AM
Your proposal is, in a nutshell, about forcing the player to roleplay, whether he wants it or not. You are not advocating asking the player first, or checking if he won't mind you doing that. You are, in fact, removing his choice on the matter.

And you're once again ignoring a facet of the advice and the situation it was proposed in. The player is already in the game. He knows the rules. My advice proposed nothing that ins't already happening, it was just upping the pace.

You're saying he doesn't have a choice? Look at the example behaviour told by the OP. The OP lalready has tried to offer more things for the player to do, and the player has chosen to remain apathetic. There is nothing preventing him from continuing to do just that regardless of whether my method is in use.

Your comparing of the proposed method to most negative surprises possible, because they share an element of surprise, only makes the advice seem worse than it really is, in addition to being absurd and tangential to the whole topic. -_-


Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. I'm outta here, and finding a less crazy DM."
Player B: "This is roleplaying? I don't like it. I don't think I'm coming here again. In fact, I'm pretty sure roleplaying is not my thing at all."

In the second case, the player has had his perception of roleplaying tainted by a DM's carelessness, thereby generating a long-lasting impact on him. In the first case, the player is understandably crept out, but she understands that the fault lies with the DM and that roleplaying or the game are not to be blamed for the awful situation she's been through.

Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. If this is roleplaying, I'm not going to play again!"
Player B: "Eh, this is a bit too melodramatic for my tastes. Call me in when you hold a less cheesy game."

See? It can go the other way as well! But that's beside the point, and not where my grudge is.

My grudge is, you're overstating negative sides of my given advice while ignoring parts of it and why it was given in the first place. If that's not artifically making it worse than it seems, I don't know what is. In this particular example, you're also ignoring facets of the other advice to make it seem better than it was.

My advice can have the positive effect of giving the player what he wants (ie., something to do), even if he doesn't get into roleplaying. What positive effect the other advice would've had? It contained equal stomping of the player's rights, via including elements neither the player or the GM would've found desireable. What positive effect would it have had, hmmm?

I admit my advice could have negative consequences. I also said that I don't have a beef with your actual arguments. But the absurd manner in which you brought them up in opposition to my advice peeves me to no end.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-30, 11:19 AM
And you're once again ignoring a facet of the advice and the situation it was proposed in. The player is already in the game. He knows the rules. My advice proposed nothing that ins't already happening, it was just upping the pace.

If roleplaying had been on the table from the start, this problem would not exist. This problem exists, therefore we must conclude that (the amount the OP desires of) roleplaying was not, in fact, already happening.


You're saying he doesn't have a choice? Look at the example behaviour told by the OP. The OP lalready has tried to offer more things for the player to do, and the player has chosen to remain apathetic. There is nothing preventing him from continuing to do just that regardless of whether my method is in use.

You are disguising your argument. If you advocated for respecting the player's choice, you wouldn't suggest absolutely anything. After all, he has already chosen, hasn't he? Respecting the player's choice of remaining apathetic means that you actually don't do the very thing you suggested.


Your comparing of the proposed method to most negative surprises possible, because they share an element of surprise, only makes the advice seem worse than it really is, in addition to being absurd and tangential to the whole topic. -_-

You keep repeating that as if I'm supposed to understand something here. In my view, your advice is terrible. Comparing it to other negative surprises doesn't make it look any worse because it already looks awful by virtue of being an unwanted surprise.


Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. If this is roleplaying, I'm not going to play again!"
Player B: "Eh, this is a bit too melodramatic for my tastes. Call me in when you hold a less cheesy game."

See? It can go the other way as well! But that's beside the point, and not where my grudge is.

Wrong. Player A already understands what roleplaying is, and therefore is capable of separating her singular bad experience from the habit as a whole. Player B may or may not know what roleplaying is, and assume that the negative experience he just went through is what roleplaying is about.


My grudge is, you're overstating negative sides of my given advice while ignoring parts of it and why it was given in the first place. If that's not artifically making it worse than it seems, I don't know what is. In this particular example, you're also ignoring facets of the other advice to make it seem better than it was.

As I said before, I have no idea how anything can make your advice look worse than it is. Believe me when I tell you that it is not, in fact, my intention. I can see it for what it is. Others may not, they may ignore the flawed underlying principle because it's presented in a rational, innocuous way. All I'm doing is revealing the underlying principle and letting other people realise that. It isn't my intention to put your advice on a worse light, because (in my view) such a thing is not possible.


My advice can have the positive effect of giving the player what he wants (ie., something to do), even if he doesn't get into roleplaying. What positive effect the other advice would've had? It contained equal stomping of the player's rights, via including elements neither the player or the GM would've found desireable. What positive effect would it have had, hmmm?

I never said that your advice cannot have positive effects. I even stated as much before. I don't care about the positive effects, because you can achieve them all the same by asking the player beforehand. The negative effects, however, arise precisely because you are not asking him.

I have no idea what this "other advice" is, so I can't comment on that.


I admit my advice could have negative consequences. I also said that I don't have a beef with your actual arguments. But the absurd manner in which you brought them up in opposition to my advice peeves me to no end.

What is so absurd? Are you saying that, as I mentioned before, extreme pacifists have no right to compare a gnat to a human to demonstrate the underlying principle of killing macroscopic lifeforms? Or that a person who is against painting things red cannot compare a house to a children's toy? Or that someone who opposes theft in principle cannot compare shoplifting with Ocean's Eleven?

I oppose your advice on a matter of principle. There are many other things I oppose because they share the same principle. They are all of different magnitudes and degrees, and I never state nor imply they are exactly 100% the same. I have a right to compare them because I want to draw attention to that exact principle. It is not an absurdity.



EDIT: Perhaps this will help you see my point more clearly.

Alice: "I think we should have this Deluxe Soup!"
Bob: "It's like eating Cumin-Flavoured French Fries, Toasted Cumin Seeds or Cumin Cream."
Alice: "What! You're mad! The soup only contains a pinch of cumin!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It contains cumin. The soup is awful and disgusting because it has cumin."
Alice: "But it has so many other things, and it doesn't have anywhere nearly as much cumin as the examples you've just cited!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It has cumin. I can taste cumin when I have that soup."
Alice: "But you're making the soup sound worse than it is! You're making it sound like it has a TON of cumin!"
Bob: "No, I am not. I don't care how much cumin it has. It's not a quantitative matter. It's a qualitative one. It doesn't matter how much cumin it has, only that it does. If it has cumin, I will not want to eat it."
Alice: "But that's absurd!"
Bob: "To you, perhaps, because you like cumin. A lot of people don't."

Does that explain my point better?

Gah, now I want to have some cumin...

Tyndmyr
2011-06-30, 01:43 PM
{Scrub the post, scrub the quote}

That is also not permitted. The squirting will continue until the happy roleplaying ensues.

If you are not sufficiently happy, I may have to resort to the dreaded rolled up newspaper.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-30, 01:46 PM
That is also not permitted. The squirting will continue until the happy roleplaying ensues.

If you are not sufficiently happy, I may have to resort to the dreaded rolled up newspaper.

There's a better game for that.

It's called Paranoia.

The squirting device comes with the rulebook.

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-30, 02:44 PM
*shrug* I have outlined the consequences. I cannot (and will not) force anyone to agree with me. I can only provide information and allow others to make up their own minds.

See two below.


Oh, then there's really nothing I can do about it. If he doesn't find the comparison favourable... well, what can I say? Removal of choice is an unpleasant topic to touch.

Eh, read what I typed above. Guess which one will cause a long-lasting impact and which one will be overcome after a while.

Works both ways, as FF said.


The examples are extreme and cast FF's argument in a bad light. Yes. This is not my goal, but I consider it an acceptable outcome. I cannot apologise for this secondary consequence of my main argument against him, because it would imply that I did wrong, when I didn't. If you would like me to stop the comparison, then I have already stopped a long, long time ago. He's the one who's keeping this argument going.

Can you provide non-extreme examples? If the underlying principle is as flawed as you state, then it shouldn't be a problem. I know your extreme examples isn't going to win me over, whereas something on the same scale might.


This is a terrible advice. D&D does not require roleplaying. I have seen arena games in which there is no roleplaying at all, merely pure combat, no IC whatsoever. Character have no personalities, no backgrounds, and they're lucky to have actual names. That is, whether you like it or not, D&D. Every player has the right to roleplay as much or as little as they want to. If the DM is not satisfied with this, he should sit down and have a nice talk with the player where he expresses his desires in clear, concise ways, and tries to work out with the player if those desires can be met and if the player is willing to adjust his behaviour to satisfy the DM. And vice-versa, of course, if the situation was reversed.

Forgot about that play style. You are correct. Perhaps I could amend it to "Shouldn't play DnD [with this group].". It seems to me like this is an RPing group, based upon OP's frustration.


YMMV, but I'd rather have my character viciously mutilated than being asked something as a player. A character is a character. He is not me. He is meaningless and disposable. What happens IC stays IC and has no impact on my life whatsoever. What happens OOC, however, does. I would be extremely angry if the DM sprung anything like that on me, because it is no longer an IC matter.

Okay. For me, that one'd be worse, because my imagination would torture me with it for several days, whereas the other I'd be able to shrug off fairly quickly.


He should be asked what he wants to do. And if the DM actively wants him to do something (in this case, change his behaviour), he should be asked if it would be all right for him to comply with such a request.

Choice.

Let. The player. Have. Choice.

I've found where Slartibartfast said the player wanted more things to do.


No? He's not having fun, but he says that he's not having fun because his character never gets to do anything. Of course, the reason his character never gets to do anything is because he spends his time doing nothing of consequence. I've even tried taking some of the events of consequence to him, but he chose to ignore them and continue drinking. That left me in a logical paradox loop which I politely pointed out to him. There really hasn't been an answer yet.

I take this as indicating that the player has already indicated consent. Bolding mine. Also, read "nicely". As in, don't literally tell him to get off his bum. Asking may be considered included in that statement.


EDIT:


Wrong. Player A already understands what roleplaying is, and therefore is capable of separating her singular bad experience from the habit as a whole. Player B may or may not know what roleplaying is, and assume that the negative experience he just went through is what roleplaying is about.

You assume maturity and experience on Player A's part. Could be his/her first game. Could be he/she simply don't have that level of separation.

Shadowknight12
2011-06-30, 03:16 PM
Can you provide non-extreme examples? If the underlying principle is as flawed as you state, then it shouldn't be a problem. I know your extreme examples isn't going to win me over, whereas something on the same scale might.

What I'm trying to achieve is precisely showing that the seemingly innocuous suggestion conceals a flawed principle. Using an example of a similar degree would also suffer from the "sounds innocuous enough" flaw that conceals the principle I'm arguing against. What I can do, however, is toning down the examples to a lower degree.

Let's say that there's a person that doesn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Now let's say that this person's friend sets them up on a blind date without telling them. This is not an extreme example, yet it contains the same removal of choice. Furthermore, even if the person loudly complains about his or her loneliness, that still doesn't allow his or her friend to set them up on a blind date, because they never asked. They never asked to be provided with a solution to their problems, regardless of how much they might benefit them, or how much they might loathe it. It's removal of choice.

Another example would be someone who has never had a pet and has never shown neither affection nor outward dislike towards pets. Then his pet-loving friend decides to give them one, with all the responsibilities it carries. This is removal of choice. Even if the person had been heard to sigh loudly and wish he could have a pet, he never asked for one. It doesn't matter if the person will love or hate his new pet, his choice on the matter has been removed.

Are those examples better?


Forgot about that play style. You are correct. Perhaps I could amend it to "Shouldn't play DnD [with this group].". It seems to me like this is an RPing group, based upon OP's frustration.

That would be true, in that case.


Okay. For me, that one'd be worse, because my imagination would torture me with it for several days, whereas the other I'd be able to shrug off fairly quickly.

I suppose we're different people, then. I've subjected my own characters to worse. The act itself doesn't really faze me, because it stays firmly in the realm of IC.


I've found where Slartibartfast said the player wanted more things to do.



I take this as indicating that the player has already indicated consent. Bolding mine. Also, read "nicely". As in, don't literally tell him to get off his bum. Asking may be considered included in that statement.

That in no way means roleplaying. That might be a mere critique against Slartibartfast's DMing abilities. Remember that we're getting everything from his point of view. We don't know, in fact, if he's doing an adequate job as a DM in his player's view. Sure, we hear "the problem is that the player is not doing anything!" but is that really true?


EDIT:



You assume maturity and experience on Player A's part. Could be his/her first game. Could be he/she simply don't have that level of separation.

The thread in question implied (or outright stated, I can't recall) that Player A had been around the RPG block a few times.

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-30, 03:27 PM
What I'm trying to achieve is precisely showing that the seemingly innocuous suggestion conceals a flawed principle. Using an example of a similar degree would also suffer from the "sounds innocuous enough" flaw that conceals the principle I'm arguing against. What I can do, however, is toning down the examples to a lower degree.

Let's say that there's a person that doesn't have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Now let's say that this person's friend sets them up on a blind date without telling them. This is not an extreme example, yet it contains the same removal of choice. Furthermore, even if the person loudly complains about his or her loneliness, that still doesn't allow his or her friend to set them up on a blind date, because they never asked. They never asked to be provided with a solution to their problems, regardless of how much they might benefit them, or how much they might loathe it. It's removal of choice.

Another example would be someone who has never had a pet and has never shown neither affection nor outward dislike towards pets. Then his pet-loving friend decides to give them one, with all the responsibilities it carries. This is removal of choice. Even if the person had been heard to sigh loudly and wish he could have a pet, he never asked for one. It doesn't matter if the person will love or hate his new pet, his choice on the matter has been removed.

Are those examples better?

Those are quite better. Thank you.


That in no way means roleplaying. That might be a mere critique against Slartibartfast's DMing abilities. Remember that we're getting everything from his point of view. We don't know, in fact, if he's doing an adequate job as a DM in his player's view. Sure, we hear "the problem is that the player is not doing anything!" but is that really true?

I didn't indicate roleplaying. I indicated telling him to do something other than drink, sit, and throw fireballs if he wants something else to do. I read that as the player coming up to Slartibartfast and saying "I'm bored. I want something to do.". I always assume it's true, unless it is obvious to me that it isn't.


The thread in question implied (or outright stated, I can't recall) that Player A had been around the RPG block a few times.

Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. If this is roleplaying, I'm not going to play again!"

The last sentence implies the opposite to me.

Flitterdragon
2011-06-30, 03:31 PM
OP Slartibartfast has asked for assistance with a player who isn't having fun with the current game as "his character never gets to do anything", the OP's paradox being that said player spends his time "doing nothing of consequence" even after exposure to potential plot hooks "events of consequence" (though depending on what they are the player may not have recognized them). The OP, Slartibartfast, has pointed this out to said player and is now awaiting a response.

Notable advice given so far:
Starwulf: Introduce player to Giant in the Playground forums.

Pro's: introduce Player to massive online roleplaying forums where he/she can look for ideas or ask for help on his own.
Con's: Longterm, Op needs help now.


Shalist: Give make the player's character's actions have obvious effects on the world around him/her/it.

Pro's: Allows the player to feel involved in the world, strengthening ties to the game.
Con's: Hard to do if the player isn't really involved in the game.


Garwain: Pick a few flaws/traits/characteristics to help differentiate the character.

Pro's: Instant depth to bland characters, allowing role-playing options
Con's: Character is still shallow and player may grow bored with gimmicky traits.


Elasair: Give character a unique attribute.

Pro's: same as above.
Con's: Same as above.


Pisha: Ask player to imagine the game as a novel/movie/tv-show and apply the characteristics of one (or more) of the novel/movie/tv-show characters to his/her own character.

Pro's: the player doesn't have to strain him/herself in imagining how his/her character will react to stimuli, as your copying a character you know.

Con's: Players character may not feel original and if a very well known character may lead to other players reacting if they feel that the isn't being played right.


slaydemons: Have the character react as you would react.

Pro's: see above.
Con's: Delaying problem as player may grow bored of just being him/herself.


Frozen_Feet: Speed up gameplay in an attempt to get the player involved in the game and his character following one or more plot-hooks quickly.

Pro's: Offers the player multiple opportunities for Role-playing or just getting involved.
Con's: may over whelm player. (edit) may take away choices if done in a railroad style.


Shadowknight12: Talk to player, find out how they wish to play then tailor the game to their desires.

Pro's: one-to-one talks with the player about whats going on gives the player and DM to talk about the game and ideas for the players character without interrupting the game.

Con's: relies on the player having some idea of what they what and motivation to really get involved in the game, may be difficult to schedule if you see him/her irregularly.


Mark Hall: 20 questions

Pro's: give the player a chance to quickly flesh out character a little.

Con's: time-consuming if your player is indecisive or doesn't care.


Personal advice: Talk to player, do the 20 questions if you have time, tell them that you plan on speeding up the sessions (if you do this tell all the players) and ask them to think about their characters motivation (why does a Lv6+ wizard [fireball used as reference] spend all his/her/its time getting drunk and not caring about what happens, maybe he/she/it failed to save their family and lost the will to live?)


Directed statement:

Frozen_Feet:
Okay, so he knows the rules alright? Then try this:


Mercilessly barrage him with events in a desperate attempt to squeeze
reaction out of him. Pull out all the stops for narrative cheese and ham.
Bring out adorable cute little critters and make it abundantly clear they will
die if he doesn't help. Have desperate housewives try to woo him.
In general, just dump the gameworld upside down on his
drunken-pyromaniac-bum face, and watch what happens.

This is an moderately extreme application of Enforced Method Acting.While done in Jest by providing less extreme initial examples you may avoid miscommunications / misunderstandings in future


This is the worst idea I have encountered on these boards. By far.
Do not do this unless you are absolutely sure the player will enjoy this,
or at least not mind it.

Shadowknight12:

This is the worst idea I have encountered on these boards.
By far. Do not do this unless you are absolutely sure the player will
enjoy this, or at least not mind it.

You have every right to assert your personal opinion, however, please offer constructive criticism rather then out-right stating you hate it as it (99% of the time) will lead to an argument.


EDIT: Perhaps this will help you see my point more clearly.

Alice: "I think we should have this Deluxe Soup!"
Bob: "It's like eating Cumin-Flavoured French Fries, Toasted Cumin Seeds
or Cumin Cream."
Alice: "What! You're mad! The soup only contains a pinch of cumin!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It contains cumin. The soup is awful and
disgusting because it has cumin."
Alice: "But it has so many other things, and it doesn't have anywhere
nearly as much cumin as the examples you've just cited!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It has cumin. I can taste cumin when I have
that soup."
Alice: "But you're making the soup sound worse than it is! You're making
it sound like it has a TON of cumin!"
Bob: "No, I am not. I don't care how much cumin it has. It's not
a quantitative matter. It's a qualitative one. It doesn't matter how
much cumin it has, only that it does. If it has cumin, I will not want
to eat it."
Alice: "But that's absurd!"
Bob: "To you, perhaps, because you like cumin. A lot of people
don't."

Does that explain my point better?

While this is a valid view-point it is also extremely difficult for the other person (Frozen_Feet) to reason with or understand until you post your position clearly, leading to prolonged arguments.

Arguments which do not help the OP.

Edited for quotation

Shadowknight12
2011-06-30, 03:52 PM
Those are quite better. Thank you.

No problem, glad to be finally understood.


I didn't indicate roleplaying. I indicated telling him to do something other than drink, sit, and throw fireballs if he wants something else to do. I read that as the player coming up to Slartibartfast and saying "I'm bored. I want something to do.". I always assume it's true, unless it is obvious to me that it isn't.

And I read it as Slartibartfast saying "Why don't you do more?" and the player replying "There's nothing for me to do!" and then being told that it's his fault for not doing things. Which is, as you know, circular logic.


Player A: "Oh wow, you just mutilated my character. You psycho freak. If this is roleplaying, I'm not going to play again!"

The last sentence implies the opposite to me.

Oh, you were talking about that example. I was talking about the original thread with the genital mutilation advice. Yes, in that example, both cases would have terrible, long-lasting impacts on the players.


Shadowknight12:


You have every right to assert your personal opinion, however, please offer constructive criticism rather then out-right stating you hate it as it (99% of the time) will lead to an argument.



While this is a valid view-point it is also extremely difficult for the other person (Frozen_Feet) to reason with or understand until you post your position clearly, leading to prolonged arguments.

Arguments which do not help the OP.

Point taken in both cases, will keep them in mind in the future.

Flitterdragon
2011-06-30, 03:56 PM
Directed statement: Shadowknight12

Thank you for understanding

:smallsmile:

Suicidal Charge
2011-06-30, 04:35 PM
And I read it as Slartibartfast saying "Why don't you do more?" and the player replying "There's nothing for me to do!" and then being told that it's his fault for not doing things. Which is, as you know, circular logic.

Oh, okay. My advice was written based upon my perspective of what happened.

Also, whenever someone says "circular logic", I can't help but think of vicious circularity, as in:

The below statement is true.
The above statement is false.

Doktor Per
2011-06-30, 07:19 PM
It's a lot like teaching acting, improv in particular. Kevin Spacey used to be a terrible actor*, and look at him now!

It's often good to start out with an archetype. It makes the character immediately identifiable, with a loose set of rules of how to behave. A detailed back story is often not even required, but something that just evolves naturally through play. And then you, as a player, have to open up yourself, letting yourself be vulnerable and try to step into your characters shoes. It's usually pretty hard when in DnD you're usually a raging homicidal maniac**, but in reality almost everyone thinks he's doing the right thing, so you have to be able to really understand the moral choices your character is making, even though he/she might not. You, in some ways, have to put more emotional work in what you're doing, than what your character is in theory doing. When the opposite is usually true.
These things comes naturally to some, not so much to others but it can easily be learned if you just let yourself go a bit, and you should be in the best of companies: Friends. And when you manage do that, you take away that wall that separates you the player, from you the PC and you start living it and feeling it. This is when the magic of roleplaying starts, and almost no terrible session can wreck that for you.

A friend of mine, can't roleplay if people (non-players) are watching. To him it's a lot like a performance. He's putting on his gloves, he's been poor his whole life and now, he's had a taste of wealth. He's still hungry. He wants more but he's erratic and drunk with power so it's never that simple. At these points, I stop having to "write plots" as the characters and their drives and ambition have taken over. (I err on the sandbox side)

You can give yourself more crutches, to kick start your character to get the ball rolling. Sometimes, it helps to have a secret, give yourself a secret shame or an odd goal you wish to achieve. And maybe that secret isn't even going to be a big deal to the other characters, but it is to you. And maybe, your character just hasn't had that interesting of a life, and you get to be the straight guy / Arthur Dent to the party. I have seen Ahnuld the Barbarian (voice and all) grow from a caricature into an immediately lovable, simple but three dimensional oaf. But only because the player let himself be vulnerable, and when Ahnuld speaks to ladies, he's as much a gentleman as his social skills will take him (which isn't very far) but the disconnect between how he treats women and his enemies is vast. And you can feel why in how he plays it.

But that's pretty worthless if you can't improvise, which is why you should usually play with friends, to keep the chemistry going. Uhhh, this got to be pretty long about some ~my emotions~ stuff.

* Val Kilmer a very serious method actor said this to illustrate that acting could be learned, and so Role Playing can too.

** At least if you don't have a character outside of what your class abilities are.

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-01, 06:29 AM
Alice: "I think we should have this Deluxe Soup!"
Bob: "It's like eating Cumin-Flavoured French Fries, Toasted Cumin Seeds or Cumin Cream."
Alice: "What! You're mad! The soup only contains a pinch of cumin!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It contains cumin. The soup is awful and disgusting because it has cumin."
Alice: "But it has so many other things, and it doesn't have anywhere nearly as much cumin as the examples you've just cited!"
Bob: "It doesn't matter. It has cumin. I can taste cumin when I have that soup."
Alice: "But you're making the soup sound worse than it is! You're making it sound like it has a TON of cumin!"
Bob: "No, I am not. I don't care how much cumin it has. It's not a quantitative matter. It's a qualitative one. It doesn't matter how much cumin it has, only that it does. If it has cumin, I will not want to eat it."
Alice: "But that's absurd!"
Bob: "To you, perhaps, because you like cumin. A lot of people don't."

Does that explain my point better?

Contrast and compare:

Example 1:

Claire: Hey, me and Alice are making soup, and she keeps complaining it tastes bland, but can't really tell what it'd take to improve it. Thoughts?
Bob: Add more spice.
John: Remember to ask Alice before adding any, though.

Example 2:

Claire: Hey, me and Alice are making soup, and she keeps complaining it tastes bland, but can't really tell what it'd take to improve it. Thoughts?
Bob: Add more spice.
John: NO! You're adding more spice without Alice's consent! That's like punching her in the face, or raping her, or bringing her a box of chocolate as a surprise gift when she might be allergic to peanuts! THAT'S THE MOST HORRIBLE ADVICE I'VE EVER HEARD! You should never do anything without asking Alice first!
Claire: . . .
Bob: . . .

The first example is your general message, which, as noted, I have nothing against.

The second example is how you actually went about illustrating it. Just like John, you went far beyond what was necessary and crossed the line into the realm of overreaction and melodrama. Regardless of whether it was your intention, just like Claire and Bob in the example, I'm not exactly amused. -_-


What I'm trying to achieve is precisely showing that the seemingly innocuous suggestion conceals a flawed principle. Using an example of a similar degree would also suffer from the "sounds innocuous enough" flaw that conceals the principle I'm arguing against. What I can do, however, is toning down the examples to a lower degree.

Still missing the point. See the sentence preceding my advice:


Okay, so he knows the rules alright?

The advice was given in the context that the player already knows what he's gotten into, which I've been repeatedly trying to remind you of. Once again, you're arguing A is equally misplaced in set ABCD as it is in AKFY, completely forgetting that B, C and D justify its inclusion in the former set. The principle windmill you're so ferociously fighting against, no matter how important on its own, is tangential to my advice.



That in no way means roleplaying. That might be a mere critique against Slartibartfast's DMing abilities. Remember that we're getting everything from his point of view. We don't know, in fact, if he's doing an adequate job as a DM in his player's view. Sure, we hear "the problem is that the player is not doing anything!" but is that really true?

If the one asking for advice is being misleading, it's a strike against them, not the advice giver, though. I gave advice valid for the situation outlined. If the situation is not as outlined, then it was impossible for me to give proper advice anyway.

Assuming the worst from the one asking the advice is not very fruitful.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-01, 02:46 PM
Directed statement: Shadowknight12

Thank you for understanding

:smallsmile:

No problem! :smallbiggrin:


Oh, okay. My advice was written based upon my perspective of what happened.

Also, whenever someone says "circular logic", I can't help but think of vicious circularity, as in:

The below statement is true.
The above statement is false.

Got it!

There's the "pleasant" circular logic, which I posited above, and then there's the "painful" circular logic, which is that. I think I need some painkillers...


Contrast and compare:

Example 1:

Claire: Hey, me and Alice are making soup, and she keeps complaining it tastes bland, but can't really tell what it'd take to improve it. Thoughts?
Bob: Add more spice.
John: Remember to ask Alice before adding any, though.

Example 2:

Claire: Hey, me and Alice are making soup, and she keeps complaining it tastes bland, but can't really tell what it'd take to improve it. Thoughts?
Bob: Add more spice.
John: NO! You're adding more spice without Alice's consent! That's like punching her in the face, or raping her, or bringing her a box of chocolate as a surprise gift when she might be allergic to peanuts! THAT'S THE MOST HORRIBLE ADVICE I'VE EVER HEARD! You should never do anything without asking Alice first!
Claire: . . .
Bob: . . .

The first example is your general message, which, as noted, I have nothing against.

Yes, there's a difference. You dislike the second case. I got that. A long, long, long time ago. I have no idea what you're expecting from me. What are you trying to accomplish?


The second example is how you actually went about illustrating it. Just like John, you went far beyond what was necessary and crossed the line into the realm of overreaction and melodrama. Regardless of whether it was your intention, just like Claire and Bob in the example, I'm not exactly amused. -_-

Yes. That was my intention. I did that on purpose. What do you want from me?


Still missing the point. See the sentence preceding my advice:



The advice was given in the context that the player already knows what he's gotten into, which I've been repeatedly trying to remind you of. Once again, you're arguing A is equally misplaced in set ABCD as it is in AKFY, completely forgetting that B, C and D justify its inclusion in the former set. The principle windmill you're so ferociously fighting against, no matter how important on its own, is tangential to my advice.

You are completely and absolutely mistaken if you believe that crunch and fluff must always necessarily go together. It is entirely possible that the player is very proficient in the rules of the system and knows mechanics like the back of his hand, but is woefully unfamiliar with the concept of roleplaying. You are presupposing a situation that may well not exist.

I have a right to fight A, and speak against it, so long as I do it respecting the forum rules. I have done so. You have no right to recriminate me for my beliefs. You are, essentially, trying to convince me that I am wrong for doing what I just did. It will not happen. If you dislike what I say so much, put me on your ignore list. Or actively ignore me. You will not change my mind when it comes to these basic principles.


If the one asking for advice is being misleading, it's a strike against them, not the advice giver, though. I gave advice valid for the situation outlined. If the situation is not as outlined, then it was impossible for me to give proper advice anyway.

Assuming the worst from the one asking the advice is not very fruitful.

And even if the situation had been the one you envisioned, I would have still spoken against it, because I am fundamentally opposed to your advice.

This is not a problem. You are not being harmed by my opinions, just as I'm not being harmed by yours. We are both exposing our views on a subject on a public forum. It is all right to disagree on a matter. We don't need to see eye to eye on things. If you do not like the extremist and exaggerated manner I am using to make my points, and you have made no headway into changing my mind or making me see things your way, then let it go. Give it a rest. I grow tired of repeating myself ad nauseaum.

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-01, 03:11 PM
Yes. That was my intention. I did that on purpose. What do you want from me?

An apology would do mighty fine. :smalltongue:


You are completely and absolutely mistaken if you believe that crunch and fluff must always necessarily go together. It is entirely possible that the player is very proficient in the rules of the system and knows mechanics like the back of his hand, but is woefully unfamiliar with the concept of roleplaying.

Irrelevant. As long as the player knows the rules, he can operate within the game. Even if the GM ultimately fails to squeeze any reaction out of him, even if he doesn't get any epiphany regarding roleplaying, he can still play the encounters as a game, and have fun that way. It might not be the victory desired, but it is a victory achieved nonetheless.

The arbitrary division between fluff and crunch does not enter into it in any shape or form.


You are presupposing a situation that may well not exist.

Yup - that's why the sentence was phrased as a question. It's asking for confirmation - if the answer is "no", then you're not supposed to follow the rest of advice.


I have a right to fight A, and speak against it, so long as I do it respecting the forum rules. I have done so. You have no right to recriminate me for my beliefs. You are, essentially, trying to convince me that I am wrong for doing what I just did. It will not happen. If you dislike what I say so much, put me on your ignore list. Or actively ignore me. You will not change my mind when it comes to these basic principles.

I'm not recriminating your beliefs. They're not even in opposition with my own. I still consider it reasonable to defend my advice from unfair criticism, though.

Your opinions are fine. The way you argued against mine was absurd and overblown. I still resent that.


And even if the situation had been the one you envisioned, I would have still spoken against it, because I am fundamentally opposed to your advice.

This discussion has lead me to believe that your opposition towards my advice is wholly irrational. As I hoped you'd have noticed from the soup - spice example, your advice is not mutually exclusive with mine - they can even be used to complement each other.

Pisha
2011-07-01, 03:18 PM
If the one asking for advice is being misleading, it's a strike against them, not the advice giver, though. I gave advice valid for the situation outlined. If the situation is not as outlined, then it was impossible for me to give proper advice anyway.

Assuming the worst from the one asking the advice is not very fruitful.

Oh, I'm so glad someone pointed this out. Look, in any of these "asking for advice" situations, all we generally have to go on is the information the OP is providing. Based on what he's saying, he's running (and has been running) a game where at least moderate roleplaying is expected. (No, he hasn't stated this outright, but it is implied, especially in the fact that he says his other players have also tried to explain the concept of roleplaying to the player having trouble.) One of his players is a) not roleplaying, and b) not having fun. Making the reasonable assumption that the two are connected, the OP would like advice to help get the player more involved in roleplaying.

Now, we can second-guess all day about whether the OP is misreading the situation. But other than asking a few basic questions (such as when I asked if the player himself was enjoying just having his character sit there and do nothing), in order to have a meaningful conversation we pretty much have to assume the OP knows what he's talking about.

And for the record, none of these are inherently bad ideas. Some will work well for some people, some will work well for others. We're presenting them as suggestions; it's the OP's job, as GM, to know his player well enough to tell which ones will work and which ones won't.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-01, 03:47 PM
And now, I'm officially taking this to PMs. Conversation, carry on.

Doktor Per
2011-07-01, 04:35 PM
And now, I'm officially taking this to PMs. Conversation, carry on.

Shadowknight, you're an alright guy.

Seb Wiers
2011-07-02, 09:22 AM
I have a right to fight A, and speak against it, so long as I do it respecting the forum rules. I have done so.

By stating that implementing somebody's suggestion (regarding conversation at a gaming table) was the literal equivalent of violent or sexual assault, and confirming this was your precise intention, I'd argue you went well over the insult / troll / flaming border. You did it with the politest of languages, but the meaning was the same.

Suicidal Charge
2011-07-02, 12:07 PM
By stating that implementing somebody's suggestion (regarding conversation at a gaming table) was the literal equivalent of violent or sexual assault, and confirming this was your precise intention, I'd argue you went well over the insult / troll / flaming border. You did it with the politest of languages, but the meaning was the same.

He said, actually, that the underlying principle was the same. He provided other examples as well.

Gamgee
2011-07-02, 12:54 PM
I have trouble acting as something other then myself, but I do put myself as if I were in those situations and limit my decisions to only what I could know. It gives me some imperative to make a more authentic character rather than just me being a metagamer. I'm not always successful. :smallbiggrin:

The few times I do go out of my way to roleplay I usually have weird or bizarre characters to help me get in the mood. They often have an odd way of speaking and I have to find a way to get this across while typing.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-02, 01:07 PM
By stating that implementing somebody's suggestion (regarding conversation at a gaming table) was the literal equivalent of violent or sexual assault, and confirming this was your precise intention, I'd argue you went well over the insult / troll / flaming border. You did it with the politest of languages, but the meaning was the same.

Oh, lovely. Let us resurrect a topic that had finally been put to rest. The corpse wasn't even cold. Let's see all the ways in which you are mistaken.

Insulting: No. I have never issued a single insult aimed at anybody in these boards.

Flaming: Let us see what the rules say, shall we?


Please do not attack, insult, or belittle other posters, individually or collectively. You can be critical of another poster's viewpoint in a debate, even going as far as to explain why you believe them to be mistaken and backing your points up with rules quotes as appropriate, but the moment your criticism extends to the person who posted that viewpoint, it has crossed the line.

Emphasis mine. As you can see, I never criticized FF himself, merely his advice. And I backed up my points with examples and lengthy explanations.

Trolling:


Any post or comment that, in the judgment of the Moderators, was made solely or primarily to incite angry responses and/or flames or attempts to disrupt a thread so that it becomes a flame war...

Firstly, it's up to the Moderators to decide if I'm trolling or not (Pssst: I'm not). Secondly, if I really wanted to turn the thread into a "flame war" I wouldn't have taken my argument with FF to PMs after I grew tired of cluttering the thread, would I?

Thank you kindly, good sir, for your unwarranted accusations and suspicions, particularly with such impeccable timing. Truly you have brightened my day. Are you satisfied or must I, again, head for my PM box?


He said, actually, that the underlying principle was the same. He provided other examples as well.

Thank you.

Doktor Per
2011-07-02, 03:04 PM
In the thread: Guys angry about advice.


I have trouble acting as something other then myself, but I do put myself as if I were in those situations and limit my decisions to only what I could know. It gives me some imperative to make a more authentic character rather than just me being a metagamer. I'm not always successful. :smallbiggrin:

The few times I do go out of my way to roleplay I usually have weird or bizarre characters to help me get in the mood. They often have an odd way of speaking and I have to find a way to get this across while typing.

Regarding the post in general, this is a really, really effective way. I think people have to be slightly unhinged to take it further than that. I think the bolded advice is sort of the best. I have noticed in my own gaming that when my character has a "tick" I can lock on to, there's less chance for me to slide back out, and an accent, vocabulary or vocal rhythm is really the tops.

grimbold
2011-07-02, 04:09 PM
Not everyone can act. If acting doesn't come naturally, that's ok as well. I bet (s)he is more into minmaxing than roleplaying though .

Anyway, to blend in around the table as for these:
- choose 1 distinctive trait
- choose 1 catch phrase
- choose 1 to love and 1 to hate (thing or person)

And that covers basically what makes a character stand out and 'interactable'.

this is typically what i end up doing
and its not that hard
and it helps make loveable characters

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 06:45 AM
Oh, lovely. Let us resurrect a topic that had finally been put to rest.
Yeah. The discussion is largely inconsequental to the actual topic; it has little to nothing to do with the actual arguments, and everything to do with how they were argued for.

The bigger questions would be those that were left by the wayside in the hassle: Slartibartfast, what is the standing plan for the game? What's the genre, what's the setting? What are your usual modes of operation as a DM? Knowing these would allow us to give more specific advice.

Seb Wiers
2011-07-03, 09:29 AM
Fine, so the issue of insult / trolling / unnecessarily bringing up irrelevant obscene criminal activities to discredit an entire area of thinking.

But, lets look at the actual claim that requires explicit consent for all possible in game events in order to avoid creating a situation equivalent to child rape. Did the players all explicitly consent to hearing descriptions of violence? Being exposed to supernatural or demonic influences? Making moral judgements?
There's a certain implicit social contract that is understood by most reasonable people at a gaming table. Making / following a suggestion regarding pretty much anything that might happen INSIDE THE GAME is not equivalent to depraved physical violation, not the least because part of the implicit understanding is "hey, if something that happens in game pisses you off, you'll say so, so we know to stop doing it" and another part is "its just a game".
So no, its not equivalent. Not even close. Not unless the group in question entirely fails at basic social behavior to begin with. (Which, to be clear, I strictly do not imply is the case; the fact that is such a ludicrously unlikely proposition for any lasting group game is in fact crucial to my point.)
The same goes for Enforced Method Acting, BTW. Actors know that directors do such things, and which directors do it often. If the director depends on it heavily, it will be obvious from the (lack of a) script. If they are worth their SAG cards, they've done improv before, which is pretty much nothing BUT enforced method acting. So, enforce method acting is part of the social (and likely literal) contract of the actor's job. There is implicit consent, and explicit consent would ruin the entire effect.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-03, 03:13 PM
Fine, so the issue of insult / trolling / unnecessarily bringing up irrelevant obscene criminal activities to discredit an entire area of thinking.

But, lets look at the actual claim that requires explicit consent for all possible in game events in order to avoid creating a situation equivalent to child rape. Did the players all explicitly consent to hearing descriptions of violence? Being exposed to supernatural or demonic influences? Making moral judgements?
There's a certain implicit social contract that is understood by most reasonable people at a gaming table. Making / following a suggestion regarding pretty much anything that might happen INSIDE THE GAME is not equivalent to depraved physical violation, not the least because part of the implicit understanding is "hey, if something that happens in game pisses you off, you'll say so, so we know to stop doing it" and another part is "its just a game".
So no, its not equivalent. Not even close. Not unless the group in question entirely fails at basic social behavior to begin with. (Which, to be clear, I strictly do not imply is the case; the fact that is such a ludicrously unlikely proposition for any lasting group game is in fact crucial to my point.)
The same goes for Enforced Method Acting, BTW. Actors know that directors do such things, and which directors do it often. If the director depends on it heavily, it will be obvious from the (lack of a) script. If they are worth their SAG cards, they've done improv before, which is pretty much nothing BUT enforced method acting. So, enforce method acting is part of the social (and likely literal) contract of the actor's job. There is implicit consent, and explicit consent would ruin the entire effect.

Firstly. "Child" rape? What the crap? Who mentioned children? I didn't specifically state it in my posts, but I was most definitely talking about adults. Also, I never said actual rape. I said molestation. They are different things. Not that it matters that much, I am just flabbergasted at the ludicrous misreadings of my posts. If you're going to argue with me so fervently, at least have the courtesy to read what I'm saying.

Secondly, all of those things you mentioned ARE things you're supposed to make sure your players are comfortable with. I would make the same comparisons I've made and advise the same things.

Thirdly, you seem to have misread my posts. "Is" is not the same as "Is like." "Is like" establishes a comparison, and it is then up to the speaker to clarify exactly in which way they are similar. Saying "shoving someone is like beating them up" is valid, because it is then up to me to explain why I made that comparison. Saying "shoving someone is beating them up" is blatantly false because they are completely different things. I said "is like." I never said "is."

Fourthly, Enforced Method Acting is not actually as common or as trivial as you make it sound. I am not familiar with actor contracts or actor unions, but I'm under the impression it is, in fact, something that is actually specifically stated somewhere (not sure if it's in the actual contract the actor signs, or if they have a special way of handling it). So no, as far as I know, you are actually mistaken.

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 04:10 PM
Again, if you want to learn more about Enforced Method Acting, look at the examples on the trope page. Cases of it vary from pretty nasty "gotcha!" pranks, to telling the actor(s) what they're in for but not going to the specifics, to making minor alterations on the spot, to ad-libbing dialogue instead of relying on a script. The last three are the version that are topical to the discussion, and are commonly featured in RPGs of all sorts whether their use is recognized as EMA or not (as noted, it's just called "improvization" in those cases). (The first version is just the director being a prick.)

How explicitly EMA is utilized varies; especially in case of comedians and comedies, the whole script given to the main comedian can be nothing but "X does something funny", with the director relying on the actor to come up funnier stuff than he could. Other actors are just expected to keep up with it. A legendary example would be Men In Black and its sequel, where Tom Jones disliked the script so much he came up with his own lines (the sequel, I think, did not even have scripted dialogue for him); what you see Will Smith doing in response is all made up on the spot.

Doktor Per
2011-07-03, 04:25 PM
The same goes for Enforced Method Acting, BTW. Actors know that directors do such things, and which directors do it often. If the director depends on it heavily, it will be obvious from the (lack of a) script. If they are worth their SAG cards, they've done improv before, which is pretty much nothing BUT enforced method acting. So, enforce method acting is part of the social (and likely literal) contract of the actor's job. There is implicit consent, and explicit consent would ruin the entire effect.

You are stating lies now. If a director throws a hissy fit and "demands" you method act, what he really means is he doesn't know how to direct people. Judd Apatow uses a lot of improv in his films, yes. But he's not relying on the actors to come up with the personal journeys of their characters, no. It's because jokes are hard to write, and things you come up with on the spot tend to be funnier than what's on the page.

To illustrate, while they were filming Scarface, Al Pacino stopped a guy while he was driving with intent to shoot him. He went too deep, he forgot to stop being Tony Montana.

And no, Improv is not "Enforced Method Acting" improv is the art of letting a scene write itself, always being able to reply and keep things going without breaking character. Method acting is immersing yourself completely and utterly in a person, so you wear that person like a second skin.

Movies are a big business, where a lot of people are spending a lot of money. A script has to be stellar to get into pre-production, where it get's rewritten to accommodate the people with the moneys. If the director had a hand in the script, the intended improvisational scenes have the gist of the dialogue most of the time.

A notable exception of this is in Pulp Fiction where the script said "Butch Coolidge talks to himself" and Bruce Willis improved a whole little monologue. However, most of Tarantino's is heavily written and smells like the man. The reason for this is that the scene is mostly a bridge and Quentin didn't really know what to do with it.

Bottom line: Most actors do not do improv and want the script to have everything on there for them to bring, they might have ideas or changes. Improv is mostly done by people with stand up experience.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-03, 04:27 PM
TV Tropes is far from a serious, trustworthy source. It is merely a compilation of personal anecdotes, snark and trivia.

Everything else has been said by Doktor Per above.

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 04:52 PM
And no, Improv is not "Enforced Method Acting" improv is the art of letting a scene write itself, always being able to reply and keep things going without breaking character. Method acting is immersing yourself completely and utterly in a person, so you wear that person like a second skin.


I linked TV Tropes for a reason in this case; to illustrate the effect I was going for. The phrase should not be used to mean anything else than what's found on the trope page and examples - and you're right that it doesn't actually describe method acting.

(To quote the page itself:)


Method Acting: noun An acting technique in which actors try to replicate the real-life emotional conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance.

Enforced Method Acting: noun An acting technique in which actors give a life-like, realistic performance because no one warned them what was going to happen.

Actual method acting would be pretty futile in this case, as the player lacks exactly the skill required to get in-character needed to accomplish it.

Doktor Per
2011-07-03, 05:12 PM
I try to stay away from TVTropes, for a variety of reasons. Also, I don't believe I caught the post linking to it.

"Enforced Method Acting" has a tendency to backfire, like in Texas The Chainsaw Massacre when they had to stop filming because nobody was emotionally ready for Leatherface. (They had asked to be kept in the dark too, hahaha) When this is successful, it usually boils down to someone shooting a gun on set, because surprise is the hardest thing to act/fake.

And again you're wrong. The basics of method acting are the basics of acting. You don't have to be good/great to get the basics. Supportive atmosphere where you can open up, willingness to open up (this is actually good for you) and an idea of who your character is. Maybe the character is just the player, but when the player feels comfortable and is willing to have fun with the other guys bashing goblins or what not you have reached the first stepping stone. He may just be playing himself, but that's worked wonders for Richard Belzer, who essentially plays himself on Law and Order. (And had a Cameo in Scarface)

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 05:24 PM
And again you're wrong. The basics of method acting are the basics of acting. You don't have to be good/great to get the basics.
Uh, I was more referring to Slartibartfast's description of how the player reacted to being asked to act like he would in person (He became a drunken bum who's continued to be apathetic.) He's not being... very interesting that way. I'd say he's grasped the basics, but he needs external events to improve as he is.


Supportive atmosphere where you can open up, willingness to open up (this is actually good for you) and an idea of who your character is. Maybe the character is just the player, but when the player feels comfortable and is willing to have fun with the other guys bashing goblins or what not you have reached the first stepping stone.

Pretty much what were all aiming to instill here. :smallsmile:

Seb Wiers
2011-07-03, 05:31 PM
Firstly. "Child" rape? What the crap? Who mentioned children? I didn't specifically state it in my posts, but I was most definitely talking about adults. Also, I never said actual rape. I said molestation. They are different things.

True. I made a less than orders of magnitude exaggeration, because you made one that is several orders of magnitude. Annoying, isn't it?


Thirdly, you seem to have misread my posts. "Is" is not the same as "Is like.




The idea is to throw balls at the player to see how long it takes for him to hit one. It's impossible to tell if he'll enjoy it or not before trying it out, and his enjoyment is a secondary concern at best here. The primary concern is to see what kinds of things will spark a reaction and of what kind. Think of it as enforced method acting.
Again, worst idea I've yet to read in these forums. This is the equivalent of molesting a virgin because they are indecisive about sex. Or stuffing someone's mouth with a food they have never tried before.

You do know that "equivalent" means "literally the exact same thing as", don't you? So yeah, it pretty much means "is", only more so.
And even if the error is stating equivalence when you meant an analogy, it would have been a crude and inflamatory analogy which doesn't bring much to the discussion other than the obvious potential for personal insult.


TV Tropes is far from a serious, trustworthy source. It is merely a compilation of personal anecdotes, snark and trivia.

Classic argument ad hominim. Attempting to discredit the source of information says nothing about the information.

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 05:38 PM
True. I made a less than orders of magnitude exaggeration, because you made one that is several orders of magnitude. Annoying, isn't it?


Please stop. That discussion was had already, it didn't lead anywhere.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-03, 06:18 PM
Answered via PM.

Eagerly looking forward to the next revival. :smallannoyed:

Frozen_Feet
2011-07-03, 06:33 PM
No reason to continue that, either. You've established there's no common ground for us to discuss, rendering viewpoints of us both moot.

Shadowknight12
2011-07-03, 06:37 PM
No reason to continue that, either. You've established there's no common ground for us to discuss, rendering viewpoints of us both moot.

That's probably for the best, really.

averagejoe
2011-07-03, 06:53 PM
The Mod They Call Me: This thread is a mess, and only a handful of the posts have been on topic. Thread locked.